Hi to lovely mums out there!! I know we all struggle with the addiction or ease of using a smartphone whether it’s a grandparent, parent or kids.
Firstly! Don’t think you are the only one struggling, lots of people are and you have already made a head start if you are thinking of reducing screen time for your kids. That’s the first step in the right direction.
The most important question you need to ask yourself is why your child is watching an animation movie or spending time with the phone. Here are a few questions you can ask yourself that will help you in identifying the real reason why your kid busy with gadgets
- Is it because you are too busy to entertain the child?
- He or She is an only child and has no one to play with and doesn’t know how to play with to toys on his own.
- Are you using an iPad/mobile phone/TV as a distraction while feeding your child, and now it has developed into a habit?
- If you are working mum are others in your family or nannies encouraging him/her to watch/use the phone.
- Are you or your partner/husband addicted to phone and create an environment where it is okay to be glued to a screen any time of the day.
Once you have identified the reason you can work on finding a solution.
If you are busy taking care of the house, please remember to think about getting some help for housework, if that isn’t a possibility then involve your child in the housework they will enjoy it more than watching a film. If you have to empty the dishwasher ask them to hand utensils and then you do a celebration dance on their favourite song. It will change your mundane task forever.
If a phone is being used as a distraction, then try a toy, game, puzzle, colouring to replace those. I either do colouring with my daughter while travelling or we sway in the car on songs but I don’t give her my phone.
If you are working mom, please prepare activities and plan for your kids in advance and then ask the caretaker to follow it through the day. This way you can reduce the screen time.
Most importantly, you have to share with the family the ill effects of screen time, it not only affects child development but also the ability to connect socially. Please read about the research work Camilla Rees has done in this area which talks about changes made at the DNA level with overuse of gadgets. Please try to reduce this DIGITAL POLLUTION in your life.