In the life of today’s children, the pocket screen has taken the place of getting involved in outdoor games, reading, interacting with people, and maybe you can name some too!
The last thing parents would want is their child being so addicted to the devices that they are performing poorly in every aspect of their life – be it health, academics, social life or family life. Parents sure do not want to be held responsible for this and be guilty of allowing their kids to use these devices irresponsibly. Right?
If you are a parent reading this, we are sure you want to fix this, but you yourself are so busy taking care of home and family, that it becomes extremely difficult to plan on how exactly to help your child break the cell phone addiction.
Here’s a 5-pointer plan for you to help your child break free from mobile addiction.
- Encourage outdoor activities
Given the COVID-19 situation, parents might be reluctant to conduct outdoor activities or let children engage in outdoor activities. But if you live in a society that seems safe and you are taking all the needed precautions, you can try to encourage outdoor activities.
Every day, make sure to set a time to engage with your child in some outdoor activities, it could be badminton, hide-and-seek, treasure hunt, running around the garden, or some pretend play. Having other kids to play along with your child also encourages team coordination skills, language skills and more. Setting a specific time for this will make it a routine and they will be accustomed to following it.
- Teach them the value of Family Time
Unlike the times before, children today are glued to their phones even while eating meals with the family! This is probably because we, as parents, have allowed them that slack. Don’t you think so?
Making rules for family time is very important. Teach your children to value the time spent together talking, on vacation, while eating. Make them understand that it is not only a matter of not using their gadgets but also showing respect to the people around them. Inculcating these values when young will help a long way and definitely will turn into a habit.
- Set an example
Parents! You are your child’s role model. They watch what you do and imitate you. Not only parents, they also imitate the behavior of those they are constantly surrounded by. If you are continuously engaged with your mobile devices, they too will want to do the same.
Parents today can get addicted to – to watching series, interacting on social media and more. You need to draw a line on the amount of time you spent, especially when your children are around. While putting your phone away tell them why you are doing it – Tell them your screen time is up or you do not want your vision affected and more, children will learn the cons of excessive use of screens. Yes, you set an example.
- Indulge in activity-based learning
The toys you buy today are not so enticing to your children, as are the video games on mobile devices. Why? These mobile games have something challenging at every level, unlike the toys! So what can you do?
Indulge in activity-based learning!
- Play with Lego, this is one activity that does not run out of creativity. It also engages your child in thinking out of the box and building their minds while they build a structure with Legos
- Get a set of puzzles and solve them one by one, do not hurry up, take it at a slow pace
- Heard of “Name-Place-Animal-Thing”? The classic childhood game. This will not only keep them off the screen but also help them learn new words, new places, etc.
- Organize a drawing or art competition around a special day – For example Children’s day – Ask them to make a card; or teacher’s day or anything at all.
- Lastly, Set hours
Setting specific hours on mobile phones is not only a great idea in helping curtail screen time but also helps them get more organized and self-aware with how they will spend their time.
You can have a schedule dictating the amount of time they can spend or the best option, use parental control apps. There are many good parental control apps, one among the many is Kids Place – it allows you to schedule and limit app usage by the weekly, day, hour and half hour. Daily limits can be set to the minute. You can also limit the entire device, categories of apps, or an individual app.
Besides screen time control, you can also control app downloads – Block apps from downloading, block in-app purchases and app stores.
Download the app here – https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.kiddoware.kidsplace
It is very important to break your child’s addiction to mobile devices at an early age because as they grow it is very difficult to break free.