5 Reasons Why You Need to Engage your Kids in Non-Digital Hobbies
If your kids are like most, they have a hobby or two. However, it's also likely those hobbies involve a video game controller, a hand-held gaming console or a mouse.
This isn't bad if it's a hobby but if it's an obsession excluding any form of activity, your grandchild has a problem.
Here are the top five benefits of old-school, non-digital "shift your butt" hobbies and ideas on how to get your kids interested:
1. Health Benefits
There is a truckload of evidence showing that kids who spend more time outdoors in active hobbies are healthier, in virtually every way, than kids who have only sedentary hobbies.
Physically, their weight tends to be better and they experience less risk of chronic disease such as diabetes. Mentally, the odds are they'll be more curious and emotionally, they'll be more socially outgoing and adventurous.
2. Social Benefits
Studies have shown less social development in children who spend a great deal of time interacting with only themselves (via single-player video games and web surfing). The same is true of children whose main source of social interaction is the Internet.
Getting your child face-to-face with other kids delivers huge benefits. Not only will they learn how to get along better with others, but over the course of their lives, they're more likely to reap the rewards of an active social life (such as increased longevity and mental clarity).
3. Grounding Benefits
Children (and adults!) who spend too much time in the virtual world often experience a feeling of disconnection.
Children who feel a connection to their environment reap a host of rewards, including better social skills, pride in their accomplishments and a sense of belonging.
4. Values Benefits
In the virtual world, there are very few 'real' consequences to a child's actions. Kids who feel the thrill of hitting a home run or experience first-hand how their words can hurt a friend's feelings, develop beneficial values earlier and stick with them into adulthood.
5. Productivity Benefits
Whether they're doing chores or homework, or just playing outdoors, grandkids with a whole range of activities in addition to their electronics time, in general, learn to be far more productive.
How to Get Your Kids Interested
If you start very young, it's easy to strike a healthy balance between electronic and real-world hobbies. Even if your child is already hooked on screen time, it's still not too late to add a new level of physical activity.
Take notice of their favourite games, then plan a real-world equivalent. For example, if your child loves playing football online via his gaming console, sign him up for his school team or simply organize a friendly neighbourhood game. Nearly every virtual hobby has a real-world counterpart!
And here's another idea. Shift your own butt outdoors and play with them. There's nothing better than a good model to help them develop different habits.
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