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Tips for a Digital Video Game Detox

Tips for a Digital Video Game Detox

Taking a break from a favorite video game or gadget?

It might seem like a daring mission in this digital era, but everyone should accept it.

Because while screen time encourages socialization through online multiplayer games, video calls, and social media, it can sometimes get in the way of real-life interactions.

And it’s not just our kids who are sometimes distracted by devices.

Hands up if you’ve ever had one eye on your email inbox while you’re supposed to be eating dinner together. And what about that dopamine-delivering ‘ping’ of a new notification? It’s enough to stop you mid-sentence…

But spending too much time online could signal a serious problem – technology dependence.

Why time off from technology is important

As a parent, you want to encourage your children to explore their passions through technology. But what happens if their interest becomes all-consuming?

Signs of technology dependence to look out for include an unwillingness to disconnect, a loss of interest in offline hobbies, and prioritizing online activities over personal relationships and responsibilities.

In addition, a technology-dependent child will become irritable, anxious, or agitated when separated from a device or asked to stop playing a video game.

Not only that, there’s the risk that technology dependence can get in the way of family dynamics – preventing us from conversing, connecting, and making those all-important memories.

The good news is you can take a more balanced and mindful approach to technology by all agreeing to some time off. We’re talking about a digital reset – something everyone (including email-sending parents) can benefit from.

Here’s how to turn your home into a tech-free zone and engage in offline activities.

How to plan a digital reset

NO SCREEN TIME FOR A MONTH!

Just kidding.

No one wants to fall at the first hurdle. So instead of locking up your phones and throwing away the keys, set realistic goals and expectations.

Every family’s digital reset will be different. So tailor it to your comfort level by deciding on the duration – a few hours, days or weeks – and identifying the devices or platforms you aim to limit or avoid.

You might opt for no-screen Sundays, introduce gaming time limits, or stop social media scrolling during school term time.

Next, remove digital temptations. Decide where to store your devices during the reset and introduce tech-free spaces in your home that support offline activities.

Finally, share your plan with friends and family and ask them to support your decision to switch off.

Great ideas for digital-free activities

Listen carefully… the great outdoors is calling.

Sure, your kids have the opportunity to immerse themselves in thrilling, fascinating, and inspiring virtual worlds every time they play a video game. But we all know the real world has the potential to be even more thrilling, fascinating, and inspiring.

The possibilities are endless, but here are a few ideas to help fire up your imaginations:

Take a walk in the woods, pedal off on a biking adventure, or set a new sporting record. Whatever you decide, being physically active is a fun (and fitness-boosting) way to spend offline time together.

Organize a board game marathon to encourage console-free competition or collaborate on an arts and crafts project. You could paint each other’s portrait, create a family collage or scrapbook, or dream up your own comic book heroes.

Use LEGO bricks to build something brilliant. Set a theme – an underwater exploration, a trip to the farm, an adventure in outer space – and see what you can come up with. Adding a twist like limiting the number of bricks you can use or setting a time limit before having to reveal your creation can add an extra challenge.

Remember, spending time together offline is just one of the things you can do to ensure your kids (and you) have a healthy digital diet.

Find a balance between screen time and offline activities

The aim of a digital reset is to establish a balance. This means finding ways to make screen time more balanced while prioritizing offline activities and personal well-being.

Assess your family’s digital reset experience regularly to identify challenges and opportunities. A great way to initiate these parent-child conversations is through our Build & Talk resource, where you'll find an adventurous story designed to help you talk to your child about screen time.

How does the absence of distracting devices affect everyone’s mood, focus, and relationships? Are your kids developing new habits or interests during their offline time? Has your family’s relationship with technology changed?

Empower your family to take control of its technology habits today by agreeing to regular digital resets, setting daily or weekly screen time limits, and encouraging ongoing digital mindfulness and self-awareness.