Technology has become so synonymous to all our lives today that we have even crossed that stage when we discussed whether it is a boon or bane. However, when it comes to our children, it is probably worth thinking a bit deeper and seeing if it’s affecting development and behavior (which we certainly care for).
Children born today are technology-savvy almost right at birth! Kids as young as 18 to 24 months use mobiles and tabs with great ease. Though, they learn a couple of things there too but overuse of it can lead to some severe behavioral issues like ADHD.
While some take pride in the fact that their kid can ‘swipe right’, many parents like us, often complain about their kids being fixated to the digital devices. I obviously belong to the latter category and try to limit the use of gadgets by my child. As a Montessori expert once said on a LiveChat on BabyChakra, TV is a passive form of entertainment and deters those neurons connecting in the child’s brain.
As a mother, I practice a few things to prevent my kid from being enslaved to technology. You can try these tips too.
DE ADDICT YOURSELF
Kids always grow on the model of imitation. When they see their parents glued to their mobiles, they also develop a strong desire to explore the same. Limiting the use of mobile and tab in front of kids can go a long way in dissuading away from them. Wait for your kids to fall sleep, while you have your ‘techtime’.
SING, ACT, DANCE
Bond with your child by singing those rhymes that he enjoys watching on the tab. Sing those rhymes, stand up and act and dance. This would create similar visual and audio stimulus for the child as any digital device would. Involve your kid in the process and express delight too when he is cheerful.
READ BOOKS TOGETHER
Invest in some interesting story books with big and colorful pictures. Not only would it help develop reading habit in the kid, will build his language skills and cognitive development as well. Let books be your child's best friend.
PLAY INTERACTIVE GAMES
At home, involve your kid in fun games like ‘simon says’ or ‘role plays’ that would let him/her think and react. Or, let him revel on the green grass, under the sky and fresh air. Encourage him/her for outdoor games that would lead to his social and physical development.
RESTRICTED SCREEN TIME
If you are busy with some house or office work and want to seek refuge in the digital medium to engage your toddler, allow access only for a limited time period. Ensure that s/he maintains a minimum viewing distance, with his head upright and shoulders straight.
And don’t worry keeping a bit away from gadgets until your child is five, will not make your child any less gadget-savvy when s/he grows up! It will still come naturally to this generation as they are born after the advent of gadgets.
Also read more about: Should children be allowed to Watch Television?
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