The advent of technology has brought convenience to our lives, even to our little ones. They can conveniently access information and engage in interactive play through online games and apps.
But there are also a number of disadvantages in relying on technology, especially if not moderated. A number of studies indicate that too much exposure to gadgets and screens can lead to development delays and drastic and negative behavioral changes. As parents, it is our responsibility to ensure that these gadgets will not get in the way of their holistic development.
If you are having difficulties getting your kids off their devices, here are some simple but effective ways to engage offline interactive plays:
- Be a role model
Your child’s mind is still developing and they learn from observing their environment, including how adults like ourselves act and think. If they usually see you or the adults inside their home spending time with their phones and devices, it is likely that they will emulate their actions, thinking that it is normal. If your goal is to lessen your kid’s screen time, you have to lessen yours as well. With this move, your kids will learn and realize that gadget binging is not a norm inside the household.
- Go outside
Admittedly, it is easier to manage the kids when they are home, but it also limits their interactive playtime. When there is nothing to do at home, they will turn to their gadgets. Take them outside for a playdate or camping. Outdoor activities can expand their horizons and they can learn things that cannot be taught by gadgets.
- Provide offline entertainment
A lot of kids today are quite engaged in the online world, especially with role-playing-games and mobile gaming applications. If parents are not carefully, their kids will spend the whole day playing with their mobile phones and tablets. Encourage your kids to play offline games that would require their full attention. Include board games and interactive family games in you and your children’s routine. If you can also craft new games to pique their interest.
- Encourage open communication
Most kids today turn to gadgets and tablets when they have no one to talk to or if communication is not encouraged or restricted at home. If this habit continues, this can affect the listening skills and focus. Talk to your kids. Even as simple as asking how their day went will encourage them to relate to you more and spend less time with their devices.
- Make them love books
It is true that the Internet can provide all sorts of information your kids need to finish their assignments or learn something new. But going old school once in a while can do wonders for their kids. In this instance, use books as a source of information. Encouraging them to read and use books will sharpen their researching skills.
Gadgets and devices are useful tools that can help hone your children’s talents and skills. But moderation should be practiced to ensure that these devices are used the right way.