Keeping Kids Connected: Communication Fundamentals

In this age of digital devices, our children are bombarded with high tech entertainment options. There is no doubt that these offer a welcome distraction for many parents trying to keep their little ones occupied, but even with the best educational app or stimulating game, we need to teach our children communication fundamentals. Just as we wouldn’t want kids to spend all their free time reading, drawing, or roller skating; neither should we allow them to be so immersed in the digital world that they miss out on the real one. While getting children to unplug and reconnect with their family and friends can be a challenge, it’s essential to their healthy development. Here are a few suggestions to help you raise well-rounded individuals.

Enjoy the great outdoors.

Take kids on a hike, a camping trip or a visit to a national park. If you’re not overly fond of the big woods yourself, opt for an overnight camp out in the backyard. Count the stars, listen to the night sounds and help children appreciate the wonders of their world. Introduce kids to sports and outdoor games like baseball and soccer. Take time to teach them the basics like how to throw a softball or football.

Go dark (just for a while)

Pull the plug and pretend the power’s out. Play board games by candlelight or gather the crew around the fireplace and roast marshmallows. Read out loud, or just talk to each other. An unexpected power failure can be fun — even for adults.

Focus on social skills.

Due to email and text, many of today’s kids are lacking in verbal communication skills. To combat this, teach them the art of polite conversation, the importance of making eye contact and one-on-one problem solving and negotiating skills. It will serve them well. Impersonal texts cannot solve many of life’s complex challenges. Start kids with a simple task like knocking on a friend’s door and asking them to play, then work up from there. Having children who are well-versed in technology is critical for their future. But those who are adept at connecting with people and the big, beautiful world as well, will likely be adults who enjoy greater success, measured by happiness, in the long run. Be sure to follow us on Facebook for more ways to connect with your kids for a healthier life!