How can we make our children spend less time on their phones?
Nowadays, kids have a closer relationship to their phones than with their parents. Whether it’s because of a lack of patience or time from their parents, or a lack of education and socializing activities( for example, the way it happened in the pandemic), the kids do suffer the consequences.
If technology and the internet became such great sources of education and entertainment for adults, imagine what they did to children! The mind of a child understands very quickly its surroundings and soaks any kind of information like a sponge. Giving this, imagine the impact a telephone can have on the mind of a child. Isn’t it a bit terrifying?
Although we constantly have to adapt to modern society, the matter of children and their telephones needs to be understood and managed. If you suspect your child might be a little addicted to the telephone, let’s discuss 12 ways you can break their addiction.
Prioritize outdoor activities
If you are a parent or a grandparent, it’s only natural you want what’s best for your kid. If you agree on that and wish for your kid to become a well-rounded individual, happy, healthy and good-educated, we need to break it down for you: they need to have outdoor activities.
Having scheduled daily a couple of outdoor activities ensure prosperity and healthiness for the little kid. They grow up more confident in themselves, with better social skills and a sense of independence. If you believe your child spends too much time on the telephone, try implementing a few hours on his daily schedule of playing outside. Children have a strong adaptive capability, so you’ll see how fast they’ll ask to go outside rather than to use the telephone!
The value of family time
Some children might ended up addicted to their telephones because of a lack of attention from their parents. Usually, this occurs when one of the parents or even both of them can’t manage their time and fail to give their child the necessary amount of attention he/she needs, even on the most common occasions.
If we speak about family dynamics, it is highly recommended to set a good example. Family time is the most important aspect in any given circumstance in the growth of a child, and a good example can set the tone of the entire personality of the child. Dinner time, vacation or family activities are an important part of family time. You won’t see your kid attached to the telephone if everyone values this time together!
Set an example
We cannot emphasize this enough, but children imitate the behavior of their loved one. Monkey see monkey do. There is a possibility for you to be the blame for the fact that your kid ended up with a telephone addiction. It is scientifically proven that children consider their parents as models, so if you are constantly on your phone, your kid might want to do the same.
The same telephone addiction can happen to us as well, so here we go back to the ground rule when it comes to children: What they need to learn, you need to improve as well.
There might have been a certain point when you gave in to the excitement of your kid to play video games. After all, they are pretty engaging and exciting to play! Children’s attention can be easily captured by games because on each level they can discover new stuff and unlock new features, so they have the impression of being rewarded at each step.
In comparison, a real-life game might not have the same features, because when kids play in real life there is no magical button that makes a sound when you win something. This is one of the reasons why a child might prefer a video game instead of one in real life. Fortunately, there are ways to turn things around. You can actively engage in your child’s playing time, by choosing games that can never run out of creativity.
Another effortless method to manage your child’s addiction to the telephone is by setting hours. Not only is it a good idea because it helps you control their time on the telephone, but also it gives them a sense of self-awareness about their time and makes them more organized.
There is a possibility your child might protest this method, no matter how much you explain it to him or how determined you might be. That is why we recommend you some good parental control apps to come in help. You can set your kid’s time on the telephone and no matter how much he wishes for more, the telephone shuts off automatically. God bless technology today, right?
Don’t use the telephone as a babysitter
We don’t mean to be rude, but this advice comes to the parents more than it comes to the little children. As easy as it might be for you to leave your little one with a telephone to carry on with your activities, don’t fall into that trap!
Children are easily mesmerized by the little screens, so yes, it’s so uncomplicated and facile to let them sit quietly next to you while you do what you have to do. The problem is, when you finish your daily duties, they will still want to use the telephone. If you want to assure your little one of a healthy mind and active life, decide on a set of games for him to play while you work and always make room for extra time with him.
Let your kids be bored
This advice might seem to you a bit strange, but it’s actually great advice on mindfulness. Just as adults need to feel sometimes certain feelings we might be tempted to avoid, so do kids need to experience boredom. It’s a natural state that can occur from time to time, and it’s important to let them live it.
Although kids hate the feeling of being bored, if we let them live it, they learn how to overcome it. Surpassing boredom makes them more creative, more open to the outside world and develops their social skills. If they always have a phone in their hand to drive away boredom, they’ll never learn how to overcome it by themselves.
Keep your child engaged in fun activities
In these times, parents are really frightened to leave their kids to play outside. Can you really blame them? Whether we’re talking about these pandemic times, or the fear of the dangerous and crazy traffic, as a parent you always need to keep an eye on your kid.
As true as it may be, replacing outdoor activities with the telephone became just as bad for the little ones. You might be tempted to feel more secure for your child if he stays in the house watching the TV or the telephone, but it does a lot of harm to his growth. That is why it’s important to allow a couple of hours for children to play outside in the park or, if possible, sign up for sport.
While you try out any of the methods we mentioned above, you can also add this one. Setting passwords to your telephone is a strict and easy way of reducing your child’s time with the telephone. Of course, it is not recommended to try only setting passwords without replacing the activity on the telephone with something else.
But while you engage with him in funny and educational games, and he asks for the telephone, you can simply make sure he won’t get it by setting up a password. Moreover, if you leave your kid alone with your telephone, rest assured he won’t be able to use it!
Other than trying out parental control apps, if you consider yourself brave enough, you can try doing it by yourself. If you come in terms with your kid to a common set of hours that you both agree on, you are to be considered a very lucky parent!
You can try out discussing a certain amount of time for playtime on the telephone, and if he wants more, you can cut the minutes from the next session. Like this, not only the child will get a sense of value over his time with the telephone, but he/she will also learn how to respect your word.
Never before bedtime
If you ever let your kid play on the telephone before bedtime, this is the first aspect you should work on. Telephone screens and highly engaging video games are sure to drive away from the kid’s wish for sleep. It’s a well-known fact that screens keep you awake as an adult, imagine what it does to children!
Our best advice is to eliminate playing on the telephone one hour before the little one’s bedtime. And, of course, as we said before, you have to set an example! If the child can’t have the telephone before sleep, it’s better not to see you with it as well.
Don’t let a telephone in the hands of a toddler
It’s true, we left the most difficult advice at the end. Yes, it’s highly efficient to show your little toddler a funny video on YouTube in order to make him stop crying. But in the same, it’s not recommended to expose a baby to any types of media before 2-3 years old.
Anything we present to a toddler at this young age can have a huge impact on his/hers development, so better be careful than sorry. So no matter how harder it might get, try not exposing the little child to the telephone(except, maybe, for video calls) before the age of 3 years old.
If you’re interested in learning how to protect and save your life by simply adopting healthier ways of living, check out this amazing article: 25 Things You Probably Didn’t Realize Can Cause Cancer.