Boy is playing with car tracks from FLEXA with his fatherBoy and father playing with wooden cars and car tracs from FLEXA Play

Switch “OFF” to Turn “ON” a Healthy Childhood

by Lola Jensen

Modern families are busy. Much too busy if you ask family advisor, Lola Jensen. In her 37 years working as a family advisor, she has witnessed what an overbooked family calendar and too much screen time does to little children – and especially to their brains. In this article, we give you the sad facts, but you also get Lola Jensen’s uplifting tips on how to slow things down at home.

Highlights:  

  • We live in the hustle and bustle of the twenty-first century and only some children manage to cope. 
  • Other children start to turn inward, some even get depressed or labelled highly sensitive. 
  • For children to have a healthy upbringing, they need time to just be children.  
  • Here are the family advisor’s tips to create a calm and quiet atmosphere at home:
    • Limit unnecessary activities, like after-school activities and leisure activities. 
    • Switch off screens and instead enjoy some piece of mind. 
    • Make room for playtime – it will be your child’s breathing space.  

Time to Just Be Children  

We’re used to hearing these words come from the adults: “Children, will you please be quiet.” But on behalf of the children, family advisor Lola Jensen says instead: “Parents, will you please be quiet.”  

“We live in the hustle and bustle of the twenty-first century with sky high expectations for ourselves and the people around us. But little children are not built for this kind of race. Some manage to cope but others start to turn inward, and some even get depressed or labelled highly sensitive. What children really need is some peace and quiet and time to just be children,” says Lola Jensen.    

3 Ways to Switch “OFF”

The experienced family advisor shares her top three tips on how to slow things down for the modern family:  

1. Limit Unnecessary Activities

“During a single day, your child's brain is exposed to a million new impressions. All these impressions must be catalogued in your child's brain and processed before bedtime, or they will pile up and result in unsteady sleep. You can slow things down by limiting unnecessary plans – after-school activities, the weekly baby gymnastic course, or your own leisure activities. Use the extra free time to really be present with your children and your partner.”

2. Switch Off Screens

“Research has shown that blue lights from smartphones, tablets, gaming consoles, and TVs fool the brain into thinking it’s daytime, making it hard for both adults and children to sleep soundly. Plus, when we fill in the little breaks during the day, we miss out on the quiet time our brain needs to store information, to remember, and to develop. So, switch off the screens and notice instead what happens when you enjoy a little quiet time together. You open up the chance for spontaneous conversations and fantastic new playtime ideas.”

3. Make Room for Play

“Playtime is a child’s breathing space. It’s where they are free to start whatever games they want and just be children – alone or in the company of others. When children play, they naturally process the events of the day. A conflict with a playmate earlier that day is perhaps worked out in a role play game, and all the instructions from the kindergarten teacher gets catalogued while your child sits quietly over a puzzle. So, whenever you can, make room for children’s imaginative playtime activities.”


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