Since the last decade, electronic gadgets have become an inseparable aspect of our lives. Not just the grown-ups, even children have gotten addicted to them. With the evolution of smart phones and tablets, children are glued to them all the time. Some gadgets do help them with studies, but others just waste their time.
As a result, more children are becoming sedentary and not being able to use their skills up to the full potential. They prefer to ignore the outdoors and opt to play video games instead. Their gadget addiction is really a bad sign as far as their overall development is concern. As a parent it is your responsibility to help your child kick this addiction. Here’s how you can make it possible:
- Set time limits: If you keep an electronic gadget in your child’s room, it’s time to remove it from there. If you can’t do that, then at least put a time limit when it comes to its usage. Keep a time table and ask your child to adhere to it. For example, ‘no TV after 9 pm’ can be the first new rule of the house. Setting a limit like this will help your child focus more on other things. She / he may resist it in the beginning. But remember that it is for their own good and stick to this routine irrespective of their behaviour.
- Tell them your childhood stories: When you were a child, you obviously had no or less electronic gadgets in your home. Use it to your advantage and tell your child how you spent most of your time. Your childhood stories may just give them the motivation to look forward to new things. Once they get inspired by your stories and decide to do something else than watching TV or playing on their iPad, do make it a point to join them in the fun.
- Plan an outing once a week: There’s no child who does not look forward to adventure and fun. To help your child kick the gadget habit, plan an outing once a week to a new place. It can be a day time picnic or an overnight camping, as long as it suits the taste of your child, you can be sure that it will entice him. Planning a few games will also help keep his interest level high and make him look forward to the next outing.
- Go for a nature walk: Nature has more to offer than an electronic gadget ever could. It is also the best place for children to learn new things and explore what they have only seen in videos and pictures. Nature isn’t only beautiful but addictive too. Whether you hitchhike or go for a trail in the wild, your child is surely going to love it. The more she / he indulges in it, the closer she / he feels to it.
- Encourage them to play with friends more: Friends are a very important part of life, specially in the growing-up years. Encouraging your child to spend quality time will help her / him to hone her / his social skills and get better at many things. A close-knit circle of friends makes children more competitive, enhances skills and shapes their personality. Plus, they can play several sports together and have as much fun as they want.
- Visit your relatives: If your child’s grandparents don’t live with you, weekends can be utilised well to pay them a visit. Or you can visit another relative. If they live quite far, this can also be a nice weekend trip for the whole family. Tell your child not to bring any gadget with her / him to make the most of this opportunity. Frequent visits to various places and relatives will give them a reason to leave their gadgets behind in order to look forward to some quality time with their extended family.
Observe what your child loves the most to do from the above mentioned points and plan that activity more often. Soon you will see that she / he is indulging less in gadgets and giving more importance to other things. That will really be the moment that you will cherish forever and feel proud as a parent.