It is time we realise how invasive technology has become in our personal lives and how it is affecting our children’s interactive skills and emotional intelligence. Nowadays, because of spending more and more time on their smartphones, many children have become less productive; face to face playtime has diminished and a distinct lack of empathy is being perceived among them.
If you, as a parent, have been worried, then these 5 helpful tips will work wonders for you:
- Schedule a Special Bonding Time
Spend time actively with your children. Go walking, swimming, horse riding with them. Read books together, watch TV, play sports and games, sing, dance, enroll for hobby classes, go to parks, movie theatres and beaches, do community service, pray and meditate. This will strengthen the parent child bond. Just remember not to overdo it. Give them their breathing space, independence and time with friends too.
- Be friendly, relaxed and approachable
Modern life has its fair share of stress and you may not always be in the frame of mind to speak to your children or listen to them. Do what will help you relax and unwind – it may be a rejuvenating shower, exercise or having your favourite cup of tea or doing what you enjoy. After that, give your child the pleasure of your company, minus the smartphones.
- Follow Steve Jobs’ Rule
Steve Jobs, who introduced the iPad wouldn’t let his children use one. His now famous words should become your mantra: ‘We limit how much technology our kids use in the home.’ Observe how long your children are on their phones and negotiate curfew times for their use. Reduce the time to less than an hour in a day. And, it would certainly be more effective if you too follow this rule.
- Encourage Children to Interact more with People
Have a ‘No Mobile Policy’ when you have extended family members, friends, guests and other visitors at your home. When your children’s friends are visiting, ensure that smartphones are kept aside. A similar policy should be in place when your children accompany you to other’s homes and for social engagements. Avoid using mobiles during meal times and at parties.
- Limit Internet Access and Deactivate Accounts
One of the best things you could do is to limit access to the net and mobile apps. Let there be a cap on the use of the wifi and other services. Study time and other crucial days such as at the time of exams should see a firm control on the use of smartphones and deactivation of some services would be really beneficial.
Remember, ‘behind every successful student there are some deactivated social media accounts’.