A prominent psychologist commented recently, “The more screen exposure young people have, toddlers, in particular, the more behavior problems they have and the more learning problems they have earlier on,” “Kids need to interact with the real world before they start to get sucked into the virtual world.”
The world has changed upside down post the pandemic, and more youngsters are spending time latched on to their phones and tablets. Gone are the days when children roamed free in the fields, climbed trees, and enjoyed moments in the sun. Now adventure means video games and moments outside are replaced with tik-tok and YouTube. Excessive screen time prevents youngsters from fostering deep personal relationships, impacts sleep, and health, and makes them more irritable and rebellious.
Let’s not discredit the various advantages balanced screen time offers. An introduction to the digital world fosters curiosity and builds problem-solving skills. When young children are introduced to applications and new software, it gives them a competitive advantage. They become proficient at a young age in solving complex problems, increasing their confidence.
Given below are some of the ways that parents and children can work together while at the same time ensuring screen time is set to a minimum:
Choose the Right Content– As a parent, you must filter the content that is appropriate for a youngster.
Discuss Digital Content– Encourage children to share what they have learnt, give them a question and ask them to find the answer. This will ensure that they remember essential information. Watch podcasts and other educational videos together.
Give them a Project– This will pique their interest and creativity. It will encourage them to think “out of the box.” Reward the effort at the end.
Schedule Family Time Together– Children benefit greatly when they see their parents excited about the same things that interest them. That builds trust and makes you, the parent, Approachable!
Make Learning Fun– The pandemic has forced families to come closer. Use this as an opportunity to instill critical skills and values in your child. Children model their parents and are far more observant than we give them credit. They will readily follow in your footsteps and embrace learning as a fun activity if you portray it that way.
Time Management– Ensure that screen time is set to a minimum and children are encouraged to have a life outside their computers and phones. This is key to their balanced development. Research has proved that “excessive screen time” leads to hostile and antisocial behavior.
Set a Weekly Check in– This could be planned as a fun outing or a picnic. While children enjoy the fresh air, talk to them about important life principles and check how they feel at school, what they have been learning and what they would like to speak about. You would be surprised to know that, given the right incentive, children feel free to share the minutest details of their lives.
Communicate Often– Make Conversation easy, encourage small talk, and set a dedicated time when you listen to your child. After a While, you will notice that your child will look forward to time with you over screen time. Unfortunately, most children resort to spending time alone with their gadgets when they notice their parents are just “too busy” for them. That leads to various personality and learning defects that could have been avoided.
Be their Friend– Your Child must run to you with the slightest grievance and the smallest victory. Talk to them as a friend and seek to understand first.
Fun Times– Plant a garden, attend music festivals together, go fishing or build a sand castle. The activities are numerous and beat “screen time,” hands down.
Be Strategic and Intentional– We all lead busy lives. There’s no way around it. It’s crucial to be intentional about family time. If it is important, you have to make it a priority.
Technology is here to stay. Our world and corporations are driven by technology, and it’s good to keep abreast of the latest developments happening in the world, but not at the cost of one’s health and frayed family relationships. That’s a huge price to pay!
Sajid Ahamed is a “Certified trainer of NLP” and organizes John Grinder-approved training in India and the Middle East. He is one of the few ITA (International Training Academy) trainers in the world who are authorized to run New Code and Master Practitioner NLP Certifications in India and the Middle East. He has more than 1000 hours of coaching experience and is an ICF accredited Professional Certified Coach (PCC). He is also certified and authorized to conduct Emotional intelligence Assessments by Six Seconds, international. He is a firm believer in high performance. He enjoys engaging in powerful conversations that lead to effective learning and results. Sajid empowers his clients to achieve their most significant potential and evolve into their personal best version through emotionally intelligent coaching.
He is presently pursuing his PhD in Alternative therapies and Integrative Medicines and completed studies in Psychotherapy from Chicago School of Professional Psychology.
He is also the Founder of Inner Peace Life Coaching Pvt. Ltd, India, which specializes in Coaching in variety of Modalities like NLP, EFT, EI and Energy coaching.
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