We can’t deny the fact that the world has shifted completely to digital platform and pandemic has made us rely on it even more. Work from home and online schooling is the new normal and like adults, kids too need to spend time online for schooling and classes. Not just limited to work and schooling, we now rely on it for everything. From shopping, having family meets to attend parties, we are doing it all online. However, we can’t let digital places completely intrude and take over human space.
So, how do we strike the balance is the question here. After the Ice age and the Stone age, we are now in an era of Digital age where we can’t ignore it but we can find ways to use it such that it doesn’t replace human interaction.
Lead by example: The first and foremost thing, lead by your example as kids follow what they see and if they see you glued to your phone, they will think it’s normal to do so too and insist on spending more time with their devices. So once your work is over, make sure you keep your phone aside and pay attention to your kids and be physically present for them.
Set time limits and encourage playtime: Like everything else, usage of the device should be limited in the house and more free and unstructured play should be encouraged. Kids should be made to have a lot of unplugged playtimes to boost their creative thinking and imagination. Don’t just sit and simply observe, be a part of your child’s playtime. Boardgame, pretend play, or UNO, play with them.
Screen time should not be alone time: When a child is online, either playing a game or watching a movie, be with them. That way, you not only monitor what your child is doing but you can be a part of it. Co-view and co-play and don’t just let your child be alone with devices.
Face-to-face communication: Personal communication is very much needed especially with the kids to develop their language skills and manners. A back and forth communication is always better than one-way communication they have with a device. So keep the doors to communication open. Don’t shun the child away if you are busy or even if your child has the silliest thing to say. All they need is to be heard so make that happen.
Tech-Free Zone: Certain times and places in the house should be made as tech-free areas. Mealtimes, family gatherings, or sleep time should be without any device. Avoid having a TV in the kid’s room so that they don’t just stay inside and refuse to come out or watch TV while they should be sleeping. Make sitting with the family for meals a must as it’s time for family to catch up on each other’s day and have quality time.
Emotional Pacifier: We all know that devices work wonders when we want to pacify a child who is throwing tantrums or if you need some alone time. But stop doing that. You have to find ways to deal with your child’s emotions to rely on a device to do the work for you. This is a short-term solution because when the child grows up, he/she will need much more than a device to deal with issues. So, teach your kids to handle their emotions by doing breathing exercise or simply talking it out. Find out ways to channelize their energy or boredom in a better way.
Kids are going to be kids and we can’t deny them everything that we think is not good for them. You will agree with me when I say that kids have got a wider platform and more exposure to things than we had in our times. So definitely digital world is not bad and not to be missed either. All we need to do as a parent is to be more vigilant and teach them the right time to use it and how much to rely on it and not let the digital world take over their world completely.
Meet Hansa Kajaria – A mom of 2 kids and resides in Mumbai with her family. She holds a PGDBA- Finance qualification and has worked as a Financial Analyst in the Insurance sector. Currently, she is a Stay At Home Mom. A voracious reader who blogs and writes in her free time. You can read her work at – www.mummatalks.blog.
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