Wheel of Life

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  • POSTED ON 21/08/2020 BY KATE

Is your child’s Wheel of Life balanced?

Life is one continual balancing act, a challenge no more keenly felt than by a parent trying to make sure that their child doesn’t slip away into a black hole of endless screen time!

 

Parents of today’s generation of kids are finding it harder than ever, to keep an eye on how much of their awake time (and sometimes the sleep time!) screens take up. Research is showing, though, that it is worth the battle.

 

It seems that helping your kids to build good, or even just be more conscious of, digital habits, is a valuable head start that will stand them in good stead in the future. Our ability to be as Nir Eyal describes in his book of the same name ‘indistractable’, is fast becoming one of the most important skills our children need in the 21st Century world of the internet of things.

 

When last did you open your laptop, or unlock you phone and go directly to the task you intended to complete when you picked up he device, without being distracted by a notification, interesting news piece or incoming message. Image how difficult it is for your children who have even less experience of the need for discipline and awareness of navigating the endlessly distracting online world.

 

Screen time is entertaining, and can of course be educational too. It is a huge and unavoidable part of our modern lives. But it is like a swirling vortex into which we can easily be sucked, only coming up for air hours later.

 

Whilst a lot of research has been on the direct impacts of too much screen time on young and developing brains, eyes and bodies, focus is now shifting towards the indirect impacts, mainly linked to what kids are missing out on, when screens take preference. Face to face or in person social interaction is crucial to the emotional and personality development, and therefore to the “future-proofing”, of our kids. Which parent doesn’t want to make sure their child is ready for the future world?

 

Help your child to look at their day as a “Wheel of Life”, which will only roll smoothly if it is well balanced. The wheel is divided into 24 hours, into which we have to fit in all the things we NEED to do, such as sleep, eat, exercise, wash, school work, chores. Then we need to add in the things we WANT to do, like play, have family time, go on outings, practice a hobby.

 

Fun screen time like watching TV, gaming, and catching up on social media would be part of what we all WANT to do. Plotting out how much time what we need and want to do actually takes in a usual day, gives great insights into how balanced the day is. Where an activity like screen time takes up too big a share (often without us even realising it!), we have to give up on something else.

 

Fun screen time like watching TV, gaming, and catching up on social media would be part of what we all WANT to do. Plotting out how much time what we need and want to do actually takes in a usual day, gives great insights into how balanced the day is. Where an activity like screen time takes up too big a share (often without us even realising it!), we have to give up on something else.

 

Download and print this handy Wheel of Life, and get your family to shade in how they currently spend their hours, and then chat about what each member would like their wheel to look like, and what it would take to balance it!

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Downloads related to this article.

  • Wheel of Life Worksheet

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