What is that one thing today that concerns parents the most? It is Digital Addiction of their children. According to the recent report of USA Today, about 47% of parents are concerned about child’s digital addiction. How to prevent digital addiction of the children? This question is on top of their minds. Parents say that children do not listen to them when they ask them to shut down the technology uses.
Some shocking facts are…
The smartphone addiction of parents is more severe that we think of.
More than 60% of Adults say that they are addicted to technology.
About 70% of adults sleep with their mobile next to them.
As many as 81% of adults agree that the first thing that they do in the morning when they wake up, checks their mobiles.
Do you find yourself doing the same thing?
Remember that kids are our future, they are dependent on us not only for them to get nurtured, but also for us to be role models to them.
As a prelude to the solutions to digital addiction, here are three points to keep in mind…
- There cannot be an individual solution to this problem. Everyone ‘as a family’ must work together towards preventing digital addiction. So, do not create any rule exclusively for the children. The same rule should be applicable to the whole family. For instance, you say that no mobile phones after 10.00 PM in the night. It must be applicable to the whole family, irrespective of their work calls or work emails and everything else.
- Be ready for tough choices. There are no meek or weak ways to get this done. Overcoming digital addiction is a pain. There is no easy solution to this issue of digital addiction. The good part is, the toughness of the choices is more mental than actual. Since we are used to a pattern of usage of digital technologies, any change looks tough. Hence, we referred to the choices as tough.
- It is tough to handle temptations. Honestly speaking, we are very bad at handling temptations. Therefore, why keep the temptations close by? Why not keep it far away?
Here are 3 quick tips that will help prevent digital addiction.
Ban Gadgets on Dining Table.
If you want to prevent digital addiction then this the rule No. 1.
Imagine a situation, where your child wants to talk to you and he sees his mother or the father engrossed with the mobile, checking messages and emails. The child will feel left out and will not share what they want to. Communication gap gets created in such situations. If children don’t speak and pile up things, grave consequences may happen. Watching the parents even children watch TV or scroll their social media while having dinner. Here’s a solution. Make a rule. Everyone should sit together on the dining table for dinner without any gadgets around. Remove even the magazines and newspapers from the table. The reason is, dinner time should be the family bonding time more than anything else. It will give us a chance to share our thoughts and other eventful happenings in our lives. Listening to children carefully will help us to understand them better and hence guide them better. Isn’t it the easiest way to prevent digital addiction of the children? It works amazingly well.
No Gadgets in the Bedroom.
What! no gadgets in the bedroom too? Well, Don’t freak out.
When you want to prevent digital addiction, this should be the second rule.
Agreed that this sounds too uncomfortable, but to make children free from this toxic addiction, we need to make ourselves a role model too. So, this rule is more for adults than the children. But Children must follow it too. Remember that your relationship with your spouse is the longest in life. It goes for 40-50 years. Your relationship with children goes for 20-25 years. Once they are independent you get less involved in their lives. So keep it all about you and your spouse when in your bedroom. Let this most intimate relationship in the world flourish. Know that you are your child’s role model. They observe what you do.
Dedicate an area in your living room where all the gadgets should be kept before entering the bedroom. When children will observe it, they will imitate it. They will see that you can be happy even without the gadgets. Try this and you will find you will enjoy your time with your partner the most. Your children may read a book or a comic or will study instead of checking their gadgets.
So target achieved!
Bring back family fun and family games.
Now that is an exciting thing to prevent digital addiction. Bonding with children doesn’t happen while watching the TV or just scrolling down the social media posts. Sometimes it doesn’t even happen when you are on a long drive, because the father is busy driving, daughter and son are busy with their headphones on and gaming, and mother is just watching around, where is the conversation?
So the solution is, bring back those board games, card games, and pillow fights. Yes, you read that right, pillow fights too. Think about the games that your child would like to play with you.
Agree that some of the mentioned solutions can be uncomfortable at the beginning but it can work miraculously well for the future of the kid. We are weak at handling our temptations and that makes us uncomfortable. Once we keep that away and help children to do the same, it can change the life of both, we and children. If you are successfully doing that you are a WOWParent!
Here are a few suggestions for games that you can play as a family. Mind you, most of these games have been suggested by parents themselves.
- Take off each other’s socks. This is hilarious.
- Write a story. One sentence, one person and it goes on like that.
- Pillow fight (my favorite)
- Dumb Charades
- And much more…