In this era of technology children are learning how to use a smartphone earlier than they learn to recite the alphabets A to Z. Have you ever sat down and pondered over the real cause behind the same?
It may sound a little blunt but the truth is you’re the real reason behind the children and adolescents getting addicted to smartphones, tablets, laptops or other electronic media—playing games, sending texts or simply browsing internet for hours and hours. The after-effect is the child is practically cut off from the real society while being popular on the social media. In the end, this addiction may prove to be a hindrance in their emotional, social and intellectual growth.
The good news is it’s not too late. The tides could still be turned. The sooner, the better.
Humans have a unique gift of learning. This may prove to be a curse or a boon, depending upon how is it absorbed. When the children grow up seeing their parents or elders being intensely involved in the gadgets, it becomes natural for them to be attracted to the same. Unlike the elders who have a sense of good and bad, and also constrained by other social factors, a child’s mind is uninhibited, innocent and easy to be influenced. They pick up the habit without knowing its implication. Now, you can’t blame the kids. When the adults can’t control themselves, can the kids do?
It’s no secret that youth learn by example, and not simply advices or rules. You may set upon all kinds of rules to restrict the children, or counsel them to stay away from the screen; they wouldn’t listen as long as they see you doing the opposite. You have to lead through example, stay away from the screen yourself as much as you can avoid, especially when you’re before them. Complete your work related to these devices either while they’re sleeping, or when they’re out to play or school.
Parents must understand that they should give sufficient time to their children than their work or gadgets. If you’re busy with your laptop at home, then you’re spoiling the kid in two ways. First, by encouraging the child into using the devices, and second, by making them feel ignored and bored. Such children would have more reasons to find their amusement elsewhere. Such a behavior is not only taking them closer to those gadgets but at times may lead to worse.
There are certain critical times of the day when it’s essential to give time to your children and strictly say no to your phone. Having your breakfast or dinner, dropping or picking your children from school, first hour after you come home from work or when you’re out on a picnic can be such situations. Neither you nor the children should spend this time in anything else apart from devoting it for each other.
Another important point to consider is that why to give your children all these gadgets? People lived without those things just fine even before their invention. Now, I am not saying that these things shouldn’t have been invented. All I mean is that they should be used for the good, but not to spoil the kids’ health, time and childhood.
It’s true that the children will crave for these things after seeing others own the same. They’d get mad at you once you deny the same. That is a critical situation for you to handle appropriately. Long lectures or scolding would make them resilient and stop understanding or even listening to you in the future. You should acknowledge their disappointment with tender love and gentle counsel. If need arises let them stay upset for some time while you continue showing your love and concern before they are normal again. But then every individual is different and depending upon the child’s persona you may need to improvise.
However, the basic fact remains same. To keep them away from the screen you need to stay away from the screen too, at least while you’re with them.