Hi friends, in my previous blog we talked about the hazardous effects of gadget use on physical, psychological and social development of children.
As we all know in today’s life we can’t progress without gadgets…so there are no two thoughts about the usefulness of gadgets and that they boost our working speed and capacity like rocket fuel. But anything in excess is harmful.
If you use gadgets appropriately then it’s a boon, but if misused then its a curse.
Most adults understand it, (I say, most, because we have lot of adults with gadget addiction too) but children who are not psychological mature enough are more prone to get addicted to gadgets.
Lets look at some pointers as to how gadget use in children can be handled:
How to initiate discussion
Involve your child in discussion. Don’t take decision one handedly unless things are too serious. Make them feel they are heard, involved in decision making and that their opinions are respected. If you start your discussion with blaming your child for excess gadget use , his normal reaction can be anger, rebellious action or just being defensive by going in to passive mode. None of these will help to solve this issue. If you show concern, you and your kid can unitedly fight with addiction. If you blame, you have to fight with both your kid and his addiction ….so choose your battles wisely.
Tell them there are some issues you are worried about like his decreased concentration in studies, behavior issues like anger, lack of interest in sports, etc as compared to before. Ask them, how they see these issues. Then tell them what you think ….like these are side effects of excess use of gadget.
You may tell them that, “we need to find some solutions to these issues, currently I am also thinking about it, you also think of some 5-6 ways to solve this. After 2 days we can sit and write down all mine as well as yours suggestions. We will cut all those we both don’t agree on and keep those approved by both of us.”
Setting a Routine-
You can express that you don’t have a problem with limited gadget use but the problem is with gadget consuming other activities’ time. So we can set routine for waking up to sleep from brushing teeth, studies, outdoor sports, family time and use of gadget for 1 hour. As you are really fond of the use of gadget we can keep it as reward you earned for following your routine. If you don’t study or don’t go for outdoor activities no gadget use that day.’ Write down everything in colorful writing and stick in the bedroom.
Fix Gadget area in house-
Generally gadget zone should be open so you can keep watch what is going on computer. Never keep computer in kids bedroom. When child is using computer or other gadget’s you should be aware.
Be role model-
Kids Learn from observation and imitation only. So if are telling them to restrict their gadget use and you are not following it your child most likely will imitate you. So if you make some rules make sure you are following those too.
Keep Family time-
Keep your family time without gadget. You can do it in a funny way like announcing mobile stacking before starting your family time. Stack all family members phone on silent mode screen facing downside. Enjoy talking, small drives, sharing experience at that time.
Encourage outdoor activities-
If kids once start enjoying outdoor activities or sports they will be busy with them and then will find very less time for gadget use. You can participate in outdoor activities whenever possible to encourage them. Keep rewards for outdoor activities initially till they get interested.
Encourage other indoor activities-
On similar lines of outdoor activities encouragement we can also do it for indoor activities like chess, playing cards, reading books, cooking, music, singing, etc. The idea is to help the child develop other hobbies which are helpful in social and psychological development.
Digital detox means amount of time you spend without any gadget. You can start digital detox by planning a vacation without gadgets. You may start detox on daily basis by fixing gadget use timings.
Digital Diet and Digital Nutrition-
These are other two new terms we need to understand and follow Digital Diet is whenever you are on gadget try to avoid unhealthy content like mindless shows and games, compulsive and impulsive use of social media. Digital nutrition is choosing healthy content for your brain, studies, new learning. It is similar to a diet where we avoid fast food and prefer nutritious food.
Don’t try to solve all your problems on your own. Always seek professional help when ever you feel things are going out of hand. You can not be expert in all life areas. Gadget addiction can be symptom of underlying depression , anxiety disorder or Attend Deficit hyperactivity disorder.
So remember one thing whenever you open your gadget every information you read is not knowledge, every knowledge is not wisdom. So be careful and selective in this world of information overload.