Nowadays, most people spend a significant amount each day utilizing technology. For kids, this can mean anything from playing video games to watching TV or texting. While technology has numerous benefits, it also brings with it some potential pitfalls of which parents should be aware. For parents who feel like their children are more connected to their electronic devices than they are to the people in their lives, it’s time to think about a digital detox.

What does “digital detox” mean? This refers to taking a break from technology in order to get back in touch with “real” life. You might be asking,  “Why is it important for my child to have a digital detox?” Doing so will help your child understand how to function away from technology for periods of time. It’s important for kids to find a way to be comfortable without constant digital stimulation. Read on to learn about the different ways your child can benefit from a digital detox.

1. Digital detox teaches children how to spend time alone

One of the greatest gifts you can give your child is the ability to be content spending time alone. While digital media can help occupy children’s minds and attention while decreasing feelings of loneliness, it can also  result in  the need for that type of engagement in order to feel satisfied . A digital detox helps kids understand that they don’t always need technology or social media in order to experience happiness and peace. The more children can practice this skill, the better equipped they will be at embracing moments of solitude throughout their lives.

2. It enriches their imagination

When kids are given a digital detox, they take a break from video games and online entertainment. This means they will be spending more time using their “non-electronic” devices (like toys and markers) to play games, or create art and stories. Providing children with opportunities to spend some time away from digital media helps them re-engage with the world around them. It also helps them exercise their creative muscles. Over time, this can also enhance your child’s academic performance in concepts that require creative thinking.

3. It boosts creativity

Children can tap into their creativity during digital detox, especially with practice. However, not everyone keeps up with creative hobbies consistently if they spend an abundance of time on electronic devices.  When digital media is absent, children need to find alternative ways to keep themselves entertained. The more creative outlets kids have, the stronger their creative “muscle” will be. Spending time away from electronics helps  become  individuals who are better equipped for learning as well.

4. It improves social skills

Today, so much content is shared through online social media platforms, like Facebook and Twitter. While these sites can be valuable tools for keeping in touch with friends and family, it can also teach kids that digital interactions are an acceptable replacement for real-world relationships. A digital detox helps kids learn how to interact with others without hiding behind a screen or using devices as a crutch. Social skill development is essential for all children, whether they’re in school or spending time with friends.

5. It can help combat digital addiction

Members of the younger generation are digital natives. When unhealthy online habits start to interfere with academics or extracurricular activities, it’s time for a digital detox. Giving kids a digital break from time to time can helps break the addiction cycle. It will also help you as a parent determine when technology is necessary, and when it’s not. You can take steps to prevent digital media from taking over your child’s life while maintaining it as a helpful tool, rather than an unbreakable habit.

6. It improves sleep schedules

Studies have shown that kids who spend time on electronic devices before bedtime have a harder time getting quality sleep, because of the stimulating nature of the light emitted by digital devices, and its effect on natural melatonin release in the brain. Digital detoxing gives children space from  screens before bedtime, which in turn helps them sleep better each night. Improved sleep has a positive impact on mood so they can get more out of each day.

Allowing kids a fair amount of screentime can be beneficial and fun. However, excessive screen time has been proven to be detrimental to  children’s development and overall well-being. Make sure electronic devices don’t take over your child’s life. Carve out some time in your family for a digital detox.

At Cornerstone Learning Center, we aim to nurture and support the academic, social, and physical development of our children. Our primary  goal is for all children enrolled at our center to succeed in school as we help them become well-adjusted, curious, and socially interactive individuals.