In times of booming technology, we should wait and analyse the effects of how invasive it has become in our lives. Sadly, though even the innocent ones are not spared by this and have been pulled into a web of disaster…
In my last post, I talked about how the smartphones have literally made us dependent on them for almost everything … right from talking, messaging, to ordering grocery and watching a movie. In this fast-paced world, even our children are not left behind. Right from the time they start crawling, they are handed over this fancy toy and then begins the story of horror which this toy can create.
Well, most of you must be thinking how I have managed to keep my daughter away or disconnected her from this monster. I take immense pride in saying this that my daughter is untouched by this monster. From an early age, I ensured that she is not influenced by the new age toy. Anyone who would indulge in some activity on the phone around her or show her some cartoons or something, I would politely tell them not to. When it comes to smartphones I have been very strict with my daughter. Call me a helicopter mom … but I have indeed been rewarded for the same. On family vacations and dinners, when other children crave for the smartphones, my daughter is happy without one. Her uncle also went ahead and complimented me by saying, “It’s been so long that we have been here at the party and Little Miss A didn’t trouble you once for the phone or tab. Hat’s off to you.” Trust me when I heard this I was actually on the seventh sky.
I have seen her friends and children younger to her crying and craving for phones, but this has never happened with us. I have never had to barter the screen time with her for playing outside. I would prefer that my daughter plays outside rather than slicing fruit on the phone. But as she is growing she also has limited access to the phone. This perk only allows her to see time and click pictures. Watching media on my smartphone is still a big NO…
Spending time with smartphones do not allow you to keep a track of the time. Moreover, children get strained emotionally and mentally. Also, more screen time and less face time leads them to be unhappy, aggressive and devoid of empathy. Here is how you can help yourself and your child to get away from smartphones:
- Engage your Child: In case your society does not have a play area or it is a wet rainy day which forces your child to stay put in the house, then don’t worry. Try to engage your child in some activities like painting, music, swimming, dance, skating, football and many more. Opt for age-appropriate activities which your child may be interested in. Try to go for walks or a nearby park where you and your child can spend some time together. This not only engages your child but also strengthens your bond with your child.
- Be approachable: Agreed you have had a bad day at work, and you are totally stressed out, but that does not mean you vent it out on your child. You are not always in a mood to listen to what your child says … but don’t close all the doors. Try to unwind and then listen to them, empathise with them and encourage them without getting angry. This way they always know that they can talk to you freely. I confess my daughter has also been a target of my frustration. But the minute I realise I instantly apologise for my behaviour and try to listen to her.
- Limit the Use of Smartphones: Have you ever wondered why Steve Jobs, the creator of iPhone, did not allow his children to use them. Well, he was quite aware of the fact that digital technology is addictive. When he first released the iPad, he mentioned that they limit how much technology their children should use at home. Try to put a cap on the time your child spends with their smartphones. Maybe you can start with 30 minutes on weekdays and an hour over the weekends.
- Talk to your Child: The smartphones attract children and in some way help them to spend their time. Talk to your children about the ill effects of the device. Tell them that they should only use the phones in case of emergency and also it is not a toy. Rather than spending time with the phone, they should play with their friends. Explain your teen about the harmful effects. Also, talk to them about how they may wander to some illegal or unpleasant sites.
- Children See Children Do: Ok, let’s be realistic … a lot of us spend most of our time on the smartphones. Right from getting up in the morning to going to bed, some parents can be seen with their smartphones. Well, if you want to disconnect from your child, you have to do the same, as children see children do. Try to set a good example for them. However, if work demands you to be with your phone try to limit the usage in front of your child. You can also follow the 90-60-30 minutes free from technology approach. This means first 90 minutes when you get up is your time, refrain from picking up the phone and hit the gym, or go for a walk, thus plan your day. Then avoid using social media for 60 minutes after returning from office. Spend this time with your child, who looks forward to catching up with you. No social media use for 30 minutes before going to bed. Keep this time to analyse your day and how you can make the coming day better.
It is so true that a warm phone cannot give you the happiness which you receive when you play out in the sun, rain and mud. Becoming social face to face rather on screen increases the happiness quotient manifold. It is indeed a beautiful world and let’s help our children not to become a slave to the evil technology. In the end, if you have a happy child then you have a happy you!!
Linking this post with @HeatherKeet, @musingstiredmum, @onemessymama4
Pictures Source: Google Images