Cell phones are interrupting family time and cause teens to have problems with neck aches, eyestrain, and headaches. Psychology Today tells parents to shut the phones off to limit the time kids spend on them if necessary. Taking away the convenience of texting or calling your teens when they are running around with friends and away from home is important to many of us. This post talks about four ways to get teenagers out of mobile screens and in tune with nature and the outdoors.
Make a lounge-friendly patio
Encourage teens to spend time with friends outside instead of on cell phones, tablets, and laptops. Buy a few lounge chairs, add a volleyball net, invest in a barbecue, or put in a fire pit for making S’mores. You can turn the porch into a phone-free zone with a basket by the door for any devices. If you put a variety of chargers near the basket, then everyone can use the time away from devices to charge phones for later use.
Assign outdoor chores
Another way to get your teen to respect nature and enjoy being out in the sunshine is to give them things to do outside. Mowing the lawn, sweeping the steps and porch, working in the garden, and planting flowers are all outdoor jobs your teens are old enough to do. If you need to tackle a big project like painting the porch or the garage, then do it as a family to promote together time.
Encourage outdoor hobbies and activities
Taking kids on trips to fun places are excellent ways to boost the excitement about outdoor activities. One idea is to go to an axis deer trophy hunting ranch and let your teens learn about target practice and shooting animals to sustain the family. A hobby like hunting just might turn into a skill that helps your teenager put venison in the freezer for his or her family later in life. Hiking, bird watching, swimming, and bicycling are other outdoor activities you can introduce your teens to as well.
Plan family camping trips
One of the most enjoyable ways to help teens connect to nature instead of technology is to go camping. Even small trips to a local campground can be the break your family needs to spend time getting to know each other in the moment. Your family can make memories that will last a lifetime. You never know, you might even start a new tradition that your children will pass down the line.
Instead of grounding kids for being on phones when they are not supposed to be, parents can encourage children to do fun things away from mobile devices. Enacting phone-free dinners, family meetings, or creating a no-phone zone like the outdoor patio can teach your children it is okay to unplug and reconnect with each other. The best teacher is a parent who models the behavior you want your children to learn.