The transition into the digital age was, no doubt, inevitable but who knew how quickly it would seep into every aspect of our lives and that of our children. The post pandemic era has seen children being glued to digital devices more than ever; be it to study or play – screens have become an indispensable part of their lives. And while technology might have its advantages in the current environment, the saying ‘too much of a good thing could also have adverse consequences’ holds much merit.
At a time like this, it’s important for parents to monitor their electronic usage and encourage them to unplug and connect beyond the screen. Here are a few ways that children can be encouraged to #SwitchOff:
1. The Mirror Effect
Children are what they see their parents be. If you spend too much time on your phone or in front of a laptop, you are normalising this behaviour and habit. Perhaps it’s time for you to reconsider your screen time, especially when you’re encouraging a change from your kids.
2. A Sunday Detox
All it takes is one day – Put your obligations on the back burner on any day of the weekend while taking a tech-break to focus on spending some quality time with the family. As a tradition, encourage your kids to spend time playing outdoors with their friends, siblings or yourselves – learning new activities, indulging in hobbies or going out for a drive. The goal? Communicate that there is a way to have fun without being in front of a screen.
3. Quiz Up
Kids are curious beings and the best way to connect with them is to pay heed to all their questions and get the conversation going. You can even quench their curiosity by teaching them a new word or phrase every week or even telling them lesser known facts about their hobbies or interests.
The ‘Get Ready With Me’ trend has blown up on social media – why don’t you hop on the bandwagon and make that a ritual with your kid? Try syncing your schedule with your child and get ready for the day together. Use this time to catch up with your kid and connect.
5. Practice Confrontation
Just like adults, children also navigate through various challenges in different ages in life. While it’s important to give them their space, it’s also extremely important to be present and communicate. These days, the best respite from communication, for adults and children alike, is to spend time watching something or chatting away to glory. Make sure you change that and communicate tech-free.
And while you’re at it, don’t forget to reinforce positive behaviour.
Like many lists, this too can be never ending, but it’s a start. So, go ahead and #SwitchOff with the family.