Parents Please Put Down Your Cell Phones:-
“Technology is just a tool. In terms of getting the kids working together and motivating them, the teacher is the most important”- Bill Gates.
And parents too! During our childhood when we sat with our parents, do you remember your parents putting their head down to send messages, revert to an e-mail or too busy with social media. No, right? But unfortunately, we are. In the technology era, whether we like it or not, we live in a digital world where advanced digital media improves our lives and keeps us connected with the outside world despite our busy schedules. However, the problem arises whenever we cross the thin line from general to obsessed use. Technology can be a wonderful tool and can be elevating part of child’s life if used fittingly. We can watch our favorite shows/movie together, listen to music, read books online on our iPods/laptops/desktop or make voice/video call with our friends and relatives but as said before maintaining a balance is the key. Too much technology can distract them, affect their thinking, social/reading/learning and writing abilities. Many times the child feels ignored and wants extra attention, in fact; we spend so much time on scanning things on smart phones that actually don’t matter for us and fail to concentrate on things/ people that really matters. Not only at home but parents often check their phone even when they are out to dinner, park, malls, and movies with their child. Don’t get me wrong we do need technology but it should help us to save our time and energy so that we can concentrate on the most important things. Our CHILD! Many of us have reached a stage where we can live without our child for a day but not without our Smartphone.
Do you know? – Research reveals that most of us check our phone every 6 minutes or more than 150 times a day. The time we devote to our smart phones, which regrettably we should allow to our child has a measurable impact on not only your physical and mental health but on overall neurological wellbeing of your child and even on your social, personal and family relationships. Parents are the best teachers of a child’s growing life and their first role model. These few suggestions will surely help you to practice what you preach:-
• For some time put your cell phones on silent mode, your computer on sleep mode so that you can be with your child on active mode. Before you turn into digital robots, keep down your smart phones, go with your child enjoy natural beauties, watch birds/animals/plants/ sunrise together. If at home, play non-electronic games together like chess, puzzle solving, treasure hunt, memory games, Simon says, lemon and spoon, board games, paper games, dice games or read a book together.
• Figure out the time you really need to spend on your phone; when and how are you going to use technology in the most productive way making certain that it doesn’t interrupt our family time.
• Give them at least 1 hour of your undivided attention each day. Undivided attention helps the child to build a strong value system, do constructive things, builds affirmative self-esteem and heightens their self-assurance.
• Plan a tech-free outing with your family even for half a day or a day.
• Create a policy where you and your spouse decide few guidelines/rules like – No television/cell phone/ laptops during bedtime, in school, meal time, family conversations and prayer time.
• Avoid sharing each and every picture on social media. Respect yours and your child’s privacy.
Next time when you complain about your child’s addiction with digital gadgets, peek at yourself first. Most of the times it’s your addiction; they are just following your footsteps.