Ways to reduce smart devices in your kid’s life
Kids starts whining when parents ask them to go and play outside. They all into video games and smartphones.
Kids eyes are most time stuck to the screen watching something in the phone or playing games.
The fun of going out and playing in a group, going for little adventures has been reduced so much in past few years – all because they are addicted to mobile phones and computers (to play games).
How to break or reduce this addiction and what are different ways parents can wean their kids off electronic devices.
- Reduce/limit alone time: To stop spending time on games keep your family computer in a public place rather than in a study room. This way parents can watch how much time kids play and what they are doing on the computer. Kids will know you are watching and will be reluctant to spend more time playing games. If they are on mobile phone then use for few minutes. It is hard to control use of mobile and tablets. Think hard whether your kid really needs his/her own device. If your answer is yes, then get a basic device or basic plan for kids.
- Control password: If kids wants to download an app, tell them to use free app. Protect your credit card information by password. Don’t share passwords with kids. This way they will not have access to paid Apps. Cut them off for extra goodies on your phone, this will eventually reduce their use of mobile and tablet.
- Reminder: To avoid fights and teary meltdown, give timings to child play on device. Remind them 10 -15 minutes before the time up. You as a parent need to be strict on timings. So, the kids will not take advantage of your nicety.
- Who is the boss: If the child does not listen to you and throws tantrum, then show the kid who is the boss. Do this few times – tell nicely, firmly and they will follow. Take the device away and tell them next time they must listen to you. If you start noticing their addiction, take control of the situation and restrict access to those devices.
- Fill their free time: Have a schedule for your child. Put a schedule display on your refrigerator and in kids room. For some kids video games are just distraction and diversion to get over from school stress. Instead of just taking away the device, give them alternative with some attractive suggestions. Generally, kids love to play in group – soccer, cricket, hockey, basketball etc would be interesting. Take them for good movie, let them have a play date, sleep over with friends. Encourage them to share their ideas, prepare them for short talk etc.
- Put down your device: When your kids are around, stop looking at your social media profiles, whatsapp, twitter etc. Don’t bring your phones to dining table. Keep it away. Make up your mind to talk to your children during dinner. Let it be a family time. Set a good example. Be a role model, then kids follow your steps.
- Don’t hand over your device to kids: Sometimes, to control kids tantrum in public, parents give their devices to kids. Or during social gathering if the kids are bored then parents’ handover their device to kids to play. Sometimes this is okay. Eventually children need to learn how to behave in public. Communicate with kids and explain them the behavioral changes that they need to have when in social gathering or in public.
No doubt, smart devices provide many benefits, including education apps. But children also are one step closer to dangerous and distractive games, sexting apps and social media apps where online bullies are on the watch. Lot of debate and advices are available on this topic, it is a big debate “when to give devices to children or when to give a smartphone to a child”.
As per experts, the longer you wait to give your child a smart device, it is better. Some say 12 is ideal age, others say 14.
However, if you see your child is getting addicted to the device, better act and make sure the addiction stops soon. It is in parents hand.
Author: Sumana Rao | Posted on: April 2, 2018