Gadgets have made our kids smarter, technology-friendly and curious. No doubt about that! Kids can now find information about anything they want, thanks to these electronic devices and gadgets. They’re aware of the different cool things they could do using the smartphones, tablets, iPads and computers. They keep kids occupied and are super fun, and when kids are busy with them, they trouble you a little less. But, they are addictive too. And what’s worse? Gadgets take away so much from kids, most importantly, robs them of all the fun they can and should have as children.
How do you stop kids from using something so convenient and fun? When, they could watch their favourite videos, cartoons and movies any time they want, play games for hours, click their pictures, chat with friends and do so many other things with thousands of apps present out there, how do you make them stay away from it all? And this is the problems parents seem to be struggling with. Even toddlers and one-year olds can operate mobile phones as swiftly as a teenaged kid.
For most parents, it seems almost impossible to get their kids de-addicted from gadgets. But parents, relax. It could be difficult, challenging and might require a little bit effort and planning from your end, but it’s certainly not impossible. However, the change will not happen overnight and you ought to be patient.
If you’re okay with all this, shall we now see some fun ways in which you could get your kid break free from gadgets? Okay, here we go…
Get them to play!
Out of the many bad things gadgets do to your kids, one of the most prominent ones is that they make your kids lazy. Most children have stopped stepping out of the house to play outdoor games. Electronic devices have severely affected our lifestyle, in that kids now spend little to no time on physical activities. Why not plan, something fun for kids every day?
You can have them begin a routine where they spend 2 hours of their time playing outdoor games. Any game including Cricket, Football, Tennis, Bad Minton, Kho Kho, Hide and Seek, and some more as discussed in this post. The idea is to get their body active and moving. This will make them fitter, healthier and also promote good sleep.
And while it’s good for gets to get out and play, it’s also super cool for you as parents, to take the field. It would be a great surprise for your kids and plus, you’re going to have a gala time!
Make them befriend books
We can’t stress enough on how important it is to introduce your child to the joy of reading. Reading is the best form of addiction and a habit which once formed stays with us for life. Reading makes people smarter, more intelligent, informed, thoughtful, disciplined and it is fun! Instead of making your little one read on an electronic device, go for paperbacks. And if you don’t want to by the books, enroll them in a library and pick out some books for them. With time, they will figure out what type of books they want to read more.
How do you develop the habit of reading in your child? Read out loud to them. Adventurous stories, stories with values, comics or anything that you think your kid would enjoy. Slowly, they will learn how to visualize the scenes using their imagination and before you know it, they’ll want more of it and would want to read by themselves when they can. Reading out to your kids also helps them in other ways, as mentioned in this article.
Bring home a pet
Pets keep your kids occupied all the time, doing things such as feeding them, playing with them, giving them baths, taking them for walks etc. Pets also make kids more responsible, they understand the value of friendship and bonding. To know more about what pets to get for your child and other important things, do read this post by Untumble Buzz.
Help them take on pet projects
Develop their interest in pet projects. The idea is to keep them busy so they won’t feel the need to kill time with gadgets. Activities such as bird-watching and leaf collection not only makes them happy but also instills in them a sense of love and respect for nature, which unfortunately, most of us fail to cherish any more. This would mean frequent nature trips with your little one. How about a weekend trip with your family to the nearby national park? Or a hill? Let them discover how much fun spending time with nature could be!
Other projects or hobbies could be coin collection, stamp collection, books /comic books collections, gardening and more. You could also share with them your collections from your early days.
Involve them in household chores
Often, we as parents, refrain from assigning any task to our kids because we think they will end up creating a mess, which only adds to your work. But, here’s the thing. When you assign household chores to your kids, such as folding the laundry, arranging the things on the shelf, cleaning the house or helping around in the kitchen, they become more responsible. Make them do their own things such as cleaning their room, their closet, book shelf, packing their school bags, tiffin, polishing their shoes etc. This would not only make them independent but also, make them feel empowered, as they know they don’t have to rely on you. Plus, they’d start feeling proud of themselves as they help you with your responsibilities.
How can you make this fun? While working, you could talk to your kids, listen to their stories, share how your day was, play music and sing along. Make work fun…for you and for them.
Bring in the Grandparents!
Do you have your parents living with you? If yes, that’s a great way to keep your kids busy and entertained. Grand mamas and papas love spending time with their grandchildren. They love sharing their life stories with them. And kids too enjoy hanging around with the grandparents.
Get your parents to play with your kids; board games such as chess, carrom, scrabble, checkers, etc. as well as outdoor games such as Tennis and Badminton, or even others if your parents are up for it. Kids can also go for evening walks with their grandparents.
Invite their friends over
Make arrangements for your child’s friends to come over and have a good time. You could arrange for some games, make snacks and drinks, and let them have a gala time with each other doing their own things. You can coordinate with the other parents and make this a weekly event. Just make sure, kids leave all their gadgets outside!
So, these are some of the ways to detach your little ones, by directing them towards more fulfilling activities. However, we do not encourage you to enforce your kids to stop using the gadgets entirely or shutting them off completely. A healthy amount of screen time won’t do any harm and it’s almost impossible in today’s world to escape technology. Technology isn’t bad, its overuse is.
So, while you allow them to use these gadgets moderately, here are some tips that we’d like to share
Some tips for you…
- Think before you buy devices for your kids. Most kids don’t need a phone and could make do with using your devices and gadgets. This will also put a cap on the time they spend on them.
- Some parents make watching television or using smartphones a reward for kids. Something that they can do after they finish their lessons. This is not a good idea as it will only make them crave using these gadgets more.
- Don’t use these devices as a distraction—to get them to eat food or keep them quiet when you’re busy.
- Limit the time they spend alone by keeping them occupied. Pets, hobbies, projects, games etc. are some of the ways to do that, as we saw above.
- Use password protection for your devices to prevent them from using the gadgets in your absence. That way, you can track and regulate the time they spend on them.
- Set an example. If your kids see you spending a lot of time on your phones, they won’t be very receptive when you ask them not to. So, practise what you preach and cut down on the time you spend on gadgets when you’re around them.
Introduce them to productive informative games that will help build their curiosity and develop knowledge. If they have to use gadgets, they might as well use it for things that are not only fun, but also useful. Check this post to get you started!