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Survive a Technology Grounding

girl hula hoopingYou're grounded from watching TV, video games, and maybe your phone. Now what?

Your parent probably took away your technology because they think you can't live without it. Are they right?

If you're like many kids your age, you probably spend too many hours a day on computers, TV, video games, and your phone. More than 2 hours a day is too much. Sitting too much while you’re watching TV or playing video games can make you gain unhealthy weight. And, your brain needs a break from screens to recharge.

So here are a whole bunch of ideas of what you can do instead of spending time sitting in front of a screen. They're fun -- and a lot better than screen time. You'll see that taking a break from TV, video games, or your phone isn't such a bad idea. And you’ll show your parent that you actually can live without technology.

Get Moving

When you spend a lot of time in front of screens, that means you don't move. You need at least 60 minutes of exercise a day. Now that TV and video games are off-limits, use that time to have fun on your feet! Moving is a great way to burn off stress or angry feelings. Plus, it's good for your heart and muscles.

  • If it's not part of being grounded, go outside and play. Ride a bike, shoot hoops, or take a walk. You can even jump rope in the driveway.
  • Put on some music and dance. Dance around your room or around the house. Put on your headphones if you don't want to bug the rest of your family.

Get Creative

Your brain needs a break from screens to recharge. Without electronics, you can get back in touch with your inner artist, writer, or musician. This can also help you relax and rest while you use your mind to create.

  • Draw or paint a picture.
  • Write a story or song.
  • Write in your journal.

Make Something Happen

  • Ask your parent if you can help make dinner. Think of something fun and healthy. Remember, half your plate should be fruits and vegetables -- not ice cream and chips! Ask if you can have a make-your-own pizza night. You can use pre-made whole wheat crusts from the grocery store and tons of veggie toppings. Only use a little cheese and meat.
  • Catch up on homework so you have some breathing room later in the week.
  • Clean your room. You'll feel better having a neater place to study and hang out. Plus, it's easier to sleep and study when your room isn't cluttered. And you'll earn points with whoever grounded you!
  • See if you can help out in the yard. Maybe you can pull weeds, plant flowers, or water. It's fun, you get to be outside, and you'll make your mom or dad happy.

Get Relaxed

Listen to your favorite calming music. Or try deep breathing. It may help you get over the stress of being grounded!  Here's how to breathe deep:

  1. Go somewhere quiet and sit comfortably with your back straight.
  2. Close your eyes and imagine that you're somewhere relaxing, like the beach.
  3. Take a deep breath in through your nose as you count to 10 in your head.
  4. Slowly push all the air out through your mouth for 10 seconds.
  5. Do this for 5-10 minutes until you feel relaxed.


WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Hansa D. Bhargava, MD on May 13, 2013