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Could Electronics Be Affecting Your Child’s Health ?

 WE HAVE all play on our phones and laptops while with our kids. Whether it’s a quick text or a social media post, it can be difficult put the electronics down. We are guilty of it, ( call a thing a thing) and be honest. And some nannies are guilty of it( Excellent Nannies understands that ‘s a HUGE NO for me). But in reality, our email and Facebook can wait – especially if it means setting a good example for our children and protecting their health, since increased screen time is associated with higher rates of childhood obesity, , bad tempers, behavior problems, ADHD, poor sleep quality, poor physical activity and poor school performance.

Multiple studies have shown that as parents increase their screen time (whether it be smart phones, TV, computers, video games), their children do the same. Our children are constantly learning from us and following in our footsteps. When we focus on a screen instead of our child, we are sending a message that says, “My phone or the TV is more interesting than you.”  ( NOT on purpose) Parents often ask me why kids are so interested in our smartphones and tablets, and it’s because from the day they’re born, they see us glued to these devices. In turn, children are fascinated by electronics and want to use them, too.

Loss of Social Skills

Kids who spend too much time with electronics lack in normal social skills that are needed to help them develop into a well-rounded adult. While kids know their way around keypads, they don’t know how to talk one-on-one to another person. Social skills, people skills and the ability to interact with others of all ages is lacking in kids who spend too much interacting with an electronic device and have limited face time with people.

By not developing the ability to interact with others face-to-face, future adult relationships for the child will be impeded. Employment, romance, friendships and simple social etiquette will be limited and awkward if a child never develops normal social skills.

Aggression

Ask any child what their favorite video game is and in all probability it will involve violence. Even very young kids are drawn to games that use weapons to kill. The more violent and bloody, the more popular the video game typically becomes.

That translates into aggression as the child becomes a teenager. Studies show that teens who spend a lot of time watching violent TV shows and/or playing violent video games are far more likely to be aggressive both in the home and at school. These aggressive teens fight with their siblings and peers, argue with teachers and parents and just always seems to be an outburst waiting to happen.

Obesity

The use of any device with an electronic screen seems to require the need to sit down, or at least be still, while using. The sedentary nature, combined with ads for high-calorie junk food, often leads to childhood obesity. Children are naturally full of energy and have an inborn need to run, jump and otherwise be active. When that normal desire to be active is curtailed and they sit on their haunches for hours on end, they will become overweight.

Here’s some things that we can do to change the addictions to electronics for our children

Remove the TV from the bedroom. Take the TV out of your room and your child’s room. Screen time at bedtime has been shown to influence sleep patterns and lead to less sleep and increased behavior problems.

Ban electronics from the dinner table. Make mealtime an electronics-free zone – no TV, no smartphone, no tablet on the table. Eating with screens on makes you more likely to consume more calories and less likely to have a conversation with your child. Take the time to find out what happened in your child’s day instead of reading posts about what’s happening in other people’s lives.

Put limitations on screen time. Limit as much screen time as possible – ideally no more than 30 minutes to one hour per day. The more our children use electronics, the less physical activity they do. Fight the boredom by making a list of things to do to keep the kids occupied.

Set aside play time. Show your child he or she is more important than the screen, and do things the old-fashioned way. Play with your kids, and let their imaginations run wild. Take them to the park, a museum or help them build a fort in the living room.

Rain & Snow Day Crafts and Activities, Oh My!

Kids Crafts

Are you stuck in the house on a bad weather day?

Is it too cold to go outside, or maybe you don’t want to get drenched in the rain?

On top of that, do you have little ones?!

No worries! The Excellent Nanny Service is here for you! We have some rainy day and snow in day crafts and activities for the whole family to do.

Board games! Hello?! Monopoly! Sorry! Connect Four! Life! The list of amazing and timeless games do not cease there. Bring out some friendly competition and see who still has it after you brush the dust off of your board games. It’s a great and healthy way to embrace the competitive nature in everyone and see who will come out reigning supreme!

pastries

How about bringing the kids into the kitchen for some baking?! This is a great time to share one of those family recipes in the cookbooks, or just mix some box brownies, precut cookies, or bake a cake! It’ll get messy for sure, but it’ll all be worth it when you see how much fun everyone is having around the kitchen and laughing.

Reading is fundamental, but you can also make it fun! By doing this and reading one of the kids favorite books, it’ll keep them entertained all while being productive. They’ll learn something and be engaged the whole time, or at least part of it.

Back in the kitchen we go for this next idea! Cooking a meal together! Cooking together teaches teamwork, discipline, and patience. Not only that, but it shows how to listen to one another to reach a common goal. Why not gather in the kitchen to cook something easy that everyone would like? Spaghetti, or any kind of pasta really can be made quick and easy. You can make any kind of homemade soup, nachos, salad, hamburges, and the list goes on, but let’s not forget about homemade pizza!

Hello photos! Make a scrapbook and collage out of those photos just lying around with no home. It’ll be quite a trip down memory lane and you’ll have fun with the kids. You never know what they might have to say or questions that might arise! This is also a great time to intertwine a little bit of a family history lesson while doing this activity. It never hurts to learn!

Do I hear a spa day?! What better way than for everyone to pamper themselves in the house?! But out the robes, fingernail polish, face masks, cucumbers (for your eyes), and play some soft music. Not only will it get your little one to be in a calm state, but they’ll really enjoy being pampered.

movie

Finally, movie day! Why not spend the day snuggled up under blankets indulging in the best family movies that you call your favorite?! It’s a win-win for everyone and what great bonding time it’ll be for everyone. Make some hot chocolate, pop some popcorn and curl up in front of the tv while everyone enjoys togetherness! It’ll be one of the best decisions you’ve ever made!

We hope this list helped! Who doesn’t like spending time with their loved ones?! Let’s not forget, that most of the time, it does not matter what you do with your little ones but just that you’re with them. Whatever you decide to do, whether it be going out into the snow and enjoying winter, or spending the day in museums, or even being inside the house, your kids just want to spend time with you.

Why don’t you tell us some of your favorite things to do when you can’t go outside?!

Winter Craft Time with the Kiddos!

What a great time it is to work on crafts with the kids during the colder time of the year?!

With being stuck inside on a cold, sometimes rainy, snowy day, why not spend it making crafts and bonding with your little ones?! Not only do you get to spend time together, but there is going to be great decorative outcomes for the whole family!

Carving pumpkins is not strictly reserved for Halloween! Hello?! Pumpkin pie is good all year round and it adds some great decoration to the outside of the house.

Make a hand Christmas wreath! Utilizing various winter colors, blue, white, green, red, make handprint cutouts of your little one’s hands and glue them together in the pattern of a wreath! Then use a hole puncher and some ribbon to hang it around the house! Amazingly cute craft and the kids will have fun!

Helloooooo sparkly snowflakes! All you need are popsicle sticks, a hot glue gun (adult use only), Elmer’s glue and sequins! Glue the popsicle sticks together in two +’s and then hot glue them together. ALLOW THEM TO COOL! Then over a piece of paper, draw lines on the snowflakes and allow the kids to place whatever sequins and/or glitter they’d like. Allow to dry and shake off the excess!

Let’s not forget about making Gingerbread Houses! Not only is it a great holiday tradition, but it involves the whole family and teamwork. It creates a fun atmosphere that allows each other to play up their strengths. Add some Christmas music to the mix and a seasonal candle in the background and you have a small party for the family!

Stuffing stockings are a must that no family can go without! From Dollar Tree to WalMart, you can find cute little trinkets and what nots to go in every stocking you come across. The journey to find everything needed for stockings is all in the excitement!

Share with us some of your holiday craft ideas!

Happy Holidays!
The Excellent Nanny Service

 

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