GenR8 Change has recently teamed up with neighbouring community led initiatives SEA Change Portland and Hands Up Casterton to bring (virtually) two experts to our local area to build community knowledge and skills around managing both screen time and gaming.
In April, our area was lucky to have Dr Lauren Arundell from the Institute of Physical Activity and Nutrition at Deakin University share strategies for managing screen time in the home. More recently, we welcomed Steven Dupon, the Director at Institute of Games to build skills of parents to achieve a healthy gaming-life balance for their families.
Having had a few weeks to test and try their new strategies, we've caught up with some parents to hear how they've made change in their homes. We hope to share a few of these stories over the coming weeks, first up - The Fox family!
Edith Fox already had some great strategies in place to manage screen time in her home, but she’s made some tweaks for the better that have resulted in a happier and healthier family. ‘We already had some rules in place that were working okay, the biggest one being no internet access at all on Sundays. Since the webinars we’ve been implementing a rule around accessing laptops only during school times only 9am-3:30pm - with breaks for recess & lunch’. Edith adds, "It’s amazing the arguments you have over devices but when the initial shock wears off & the kids get used to the rules then it becomes normality".
During the week there are no screens except TV after 4:30pm. On Saturdays Edith allows 2 hours of undisturbed gaming time. We need to remember social connection during this time is important and increased screen time is inevitable, the art is in achieving balanced and quality screen time. ‘We’ll have a family movie night on the weekend, complete with popcorn. My son even makes admission tickets for us and we’ll take in turns in picking a movie”, Edith says.
Edith admits it has been a tough time to stick by her household rules and the change in weather hasn’t helped, but there are creative ways to avoid the screen, “Old board games have been getting a great workout, UNO and Lego. Our family just purchased a mushroom kit and have plans to build a chook pen’”. Edith also recognises the role parental behaviour and role-modelling plays on children when it comes to screens, “We as parents have to show the right behaviour”. Well-done Edith for achieving a healthy balance in your home!
If you missed the recent Screen Time and Gaming webinars, you can access resources/recordings here;
- Screen Time https://www.genr8change.com/screen_time_resources
- Managing Gaming https://www.facebook.com/GenR8Change/videos/266493364544025/
For more information or to share your story around how your family, school, workplace or community group is working to promote a healthier lifestyle please reach out to Ebony at [email protected]