As the world advances, so does technology. As we advance, so does our dependence on technology. In today’s times we are so dependent on our phones and gadgets, that even if a flicker of doubt arises we rush to find the answer on our Smartphone’s. If we are bored, or there is a lull in the day, there comes our phone, iPad or other gadgets to our rescue.
Advancing technology is the future. We all wonder what we would do if we didn't have technology. As much as we think that technology is a boon, it can also be a curse. We are so dependent on it that we feel so lost without our gadgets, it influences the way we behave, think and live.
Children now are extremely smart but are also restless and active, they need to be constantly occupied with some thing interesting. The most easily available or quickest way to do so is to set them up in front of the TV or distract them with a phone or an iPad. These gadgets have become like a modern pacifier for our children, it's our go to option when children break out into a tantrum or are crying out of boredom.
Gadgets nowadays have advanced, they have educational content as well, but little do we know that it has negative repercussions as well.There are various reasons why children are getting hooked onto gadgets. Parents who are working or are busy may not be able to devote as much time to their children, or other children are also hooked onto their gadgets either for a game or a trending to show or social networking site and in order to be one of the “cool” people, children are always on their Smartphone’s. It could be a possibility that children who are shy or do not like to voice their opinions in public, use the means of social networking sites to voice their opinions. It is absolutely saddening to see that our kids playgrounds are transforming, they are virtual and not real anymore.
The American Academy of Pediatrics has clearly stated that infants from 0-2 years must not have any exposure to technology. In the case of children from 3-5 years, it should be restricted to one hour a day .
A research by services for wholesome use of expertise (SHUT), a gadget de-dependency center at the National Institute of Psychological Health and Neurosciences (NIMHANS), discovered 70% of respondents– aged between 13 and 17 years in colleges in Bengaluru, were hooked on devices. A majority of them have been on gaming or social network websites like Facebook and Instagram.
WAYS TO REDUCE YOUR CHILD’S ADDICTION TO GADGETS:
1. Set an example
Children pick up the habits of their parents, if you are constantly glued to your gadgets, you can't expect your children to do otherwise. The initial thing to do is to set an example for them, refrain from using your gadgets at home or keep it to a bare minimum in their presence.
2. Be the parent
You are the parent, you make the rules of the house. Make it clear that using gadgets will be a privilege and that privilege will be bestowed upon them as per your approval. Also if you are setting the rules you must also be the one to follow them.
3. Set limited viewing times
It is helpful if you allocate time and days for using gadgets. This would help in limiting the use of them.
4. Encourage outdoor activities and play with them
Motivate your child to participate in outdoor activities or games, this will help in keeping them physically fit and will also help them in initiating creative and imaginative play. Playing with your child is also necessary; it will increase parent-child interaction and also encourage them to practice this behavior.
5. Be involved in their lives
It is important to understand that children need to spend time with their parents. You as parents need to remove time and get involved in your child’s life. Getting involved does not mean that you are constantly behind your child, give them their space but at the same time be available for them. It is advisable to use the devices with your child, it will help you in monitoring their use and also you can teach them about moderation.
6. Create “tech-free” zones at home
There should be areas in your house that should be tech-free, like the dining area, the living room or any other area where the family gathers together. Also it is important to call time out from using gadgets during meal times, or the time the family spends together.
7. Refrain from putting TV and electronic gadgets in your child’s bedroom
Setting up a TV or any other electronic gadget in your child’s bedroom will hamper their sleep,wherein they may use these gadgets till the late hours of night. Also having gadgets in the bedroom can distract them from homework and other activities. Keeping an open door policy is also helpful, so that you can make sure that your child is not over utilizing gadgets.
8. Importance of moderation
It is the need of the hour to teach your child about the importance of moderation. If you make them understand from early on about how to control and restrain their urges to constantly use the devices, it would help. Also following these rules your self also helps the child learn as they tend to model their parents’ behavior. Also it is advisable to delay buying your child a gadget as much as possible.
If you notice that your child is addicted to the gadgets, it is advisable to do a digital detox. Refraining your child from using gadgets is of the utmost importance.
10. Seek professional help
Many times gadget addiction is a symptom of underlying Anxiety Disorder or Depression. Visiting a Psychiatrist or a Psychologist will help; they will help your child calm down and teach you ways to deal with your child and also recommend medications if required .
Before you become too entranced with gorgeous gadgets and mesmerizing video displays, let me remind you that information is not knowledge, knowledge is not wisdom, and wisdom is not foresight. Each grows out of the other, and we need them all – Arthur C. Clarke.