Do you worry that Christmas can mean EVEN MORE screen time for your sporty kids? Here’s what you can do to help…

Stanger Pro Parent Top Tips

At Christmas, kids often get a bit of a break from their sport and if your kids are anything like mine, this extra time can too easily be ‘invested’ in EVEN MORE time looking at a screen!

I can find this very frustrating – especially when I’m busy and would welcome some down time myself! How can you handle this as a parent?  Unfortunately, there are no easy answers, but I’ve included below some thoughts on how you can use this situation to help them learn…

  • If you decide to limit their screen time, make sure they know WHY.  I think so much of our obsession with screen time is about habits – you do it so often you stop realising you’re doing it. Try using the time over Christmas to talk to your kids about the impact screen time can have on their performance and WHY it’s important to get the balance right.
  • Take opportunities to raise awareness of the impact screen time can have on their EMOTIONS.  I find this is especially relevant on games consoles and I’ve seen my boys finish a ‘game’ in a foul mood which they can often project onto others!  When they’ve cooled down, talk about what has happened and how they can better manage their emotions in future – A CRUCIAL LIFE SKILL
  • Ask how they could use the time to work on key areas of their sport.  There are loads of things they can do on their own – especially if they need to build their fitness levels. If they need encouragement, think about ways you can make it easier for them – like offering them a lift to a place they can practise or joining in with them.
  • Encourage them to think about different ways to keep active (sledging is ALWAYS a great idea) and ask how this could help them get back into training after Christmas feeling fresh and in good shape.
  • Remind yourself that having a break from anything is a GOOD THING and this can also be the right thing to do…as long as you help them understand the impact this CHOICE can have, both good or bad, when they start back up again.

Whatever you decide to do it’s important to ask questions to help your kids understand WHY getting the right balance between rest, active recovery and screen time over Christmas is important in achieving their goals in sport.  They might not always welcome your questions, but if you persevere, I’m sure it will sink in eventually!!

Have a great (screen limited) Christmas when it comes.


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