In this technological era, most of the things are being done using technology. It has become hard to be away from it when it has become the medium to get our important work done. Every home has more than two to three screens which are used for office, education and entertainment purpose. In such an environment, it is crucial to keep our small kids away from screens. Many parents nowadays have the same complaint that their wards screen time is increasing. We parents really feel helpless when we are not able to give time to our kids, and the screen is the only solution which we find.
My son, being the only child at home, finds everything boring. It’s a habit which has developed in him after the start of the corona virus pandemic. When lockdown was the solution to prevent the spread of the virus, working from home was the solution which was upheld to keep our work going. Burdened with work at home, we didn’t have time for our kid, and we handed our phone to him so that he didn’t disturb us while working. Now his screen time has increased so much that it has become a pain point for us.
And I know it’s not only us but many parents dealing with the same situation. How can we keep them away from the screen? Let’s understand some tips on it.
Don’t use it for entertainment.
Entertainment is the thing which we love to have after long hours of work. People are addicted to Netflix, Amazon Prime and many other such apps. When children see us watching screen and enjoying ourselves, they too want to enjoy themselves, and this is how you model such behaviour in front of your kids.
First, we should restrict usage of such apps and then expect the same from our kids.
Explore for knowledge.
Everything has its advantage and disadvantage. Screen can be used as an advantage to its optimum level. Knowledge is just a click away. Rather than using it for entertainment or for playing video games, it can be used to increase your knowledge. Earlier we had to search through books to acquire knowledge, but now it can be done using a phone or a laptop.
I know whenever I snatched the phone from my son’s hand to restrict his screen time, he used to cry. It is hard to see our only kid crying just for a phone. Though I never watch Netflix or play video games, he thinks I am using the laptop for my enjoyment. So, I started reading loudly whatever I read on my laptop. There are some changes which I see in him currently. He himself has stopped watching the screen continuously and has started playing with his toys.
Plan some family get-together.
A family get-together doesn’t mean to call all your relatives and ruin your whole day and timetable. Here I mean to say you sit with your child, talk something entertaining to them. Try preparing some snacks with them which they love to have. On the weekends find little time and try to watch a good movie together.
When you are with your child, you always impact them, either directly or indirectly. So, always try to foster good habits in them.
Explain the adverse effect of watching the screen all the time.
Educate your child on the harsh effect of watching screens. Ask them to restrict their timing. When they ask for a phone, let them know the time limit for the same, i.e., you can tell them that they are getting the phone only for an hour, after that they should hand it over to you. Knowing the time limit, they too come to understand why you are asking the device back from them.
We cannot leave our child alone, thinking they will understand what they are doing is wrong. We as parents have to intervene to make them understand what is healthy and what is not.