Smartphones are meant to enhance our connectivity to friends, family and colleagues. Yet, in today’s world, addiction to our phones causes us to disconnect from our loved ones. Have you experienced the same with your child? Read on to recognize the symptoms and learn how to address such situation.
Signs that your child is disconnected
- Do you spend at least 15-20 minutes of quality time every day with your child talking about their day, their problems, their highs and lows or involving yourself into fun activities for kids?
- Do you have real conversation (not about managing their schedules, activities, school related stuff and so on) with your child frequently? Do they share their dreams, desires, and frustrations openly with you?
- Does your child get quality face time with all other family members?
- Does your child look up from their screen and talk when someone addresses them? Is it a regular habit?
- Do you participate with your child in some physical activity like swimming, cycling or any sport or indoor activities on regular basis?
- Is your child’s academic performance consistent or improving? Is there teachers’ feedback same as your assessment?
- Is your child comfortable leaving home without their phone or to stay away from it for some time?
If you answer No to 4 or more questions above, you need to engage with your child better. The bitter truth of today’s digital age is that most children suffer from an addiction to mobile phones right from a very tender age. This addiction grows over time and may hamper their life as an adult. Here are 5 ways to address this situation.
5 Ways to make your child unplug from their phone
1. Lead by example: Children learn from parent’s actions. Try having the entire family leave their phones turned off or at least put away during time spent together. And always switch off your ringer during events that are important to your child, such as school plays and sports games.
2. Define rules: As a parent, you are responsible for setting limits on use of mobiles, just like you do for driving, drugs, and alcohol. It’s a parent’s job to set limits for device usage and what content child can access on their device. Qubit Mobiles are designed with built-in rules for bed time, screen time and time limits for games, social media etc. Click here to learn how Qubit can help you as a parent.
3. Acknowledge the need for a mobile device: Digital communication has a positive role in your child’s life, and eliminating it entirely can damage trust and may also cause them to suffer isolation within their peer group. Your child’s cell phone is their connection to their world and acknowledging this can help manage device usage better.
4. Distract them: If you find your child getting anxious without their devices, find a way to distract them. You could also engage them in a conversation about a sport, movie, or musician that they like. Play a board game or a card game with them. Even simple stone, paper, scissor kind of games can be enjoyable if whole family gets involved and has fun together.
5. Listen to them: Including your kids in the cell phone rule-making process can help in sticking to these rules better. Your children need a chance to explain some of their usage to you, so they feel heard. They are more likely to follow a given set of regulation when they have a say in it.
Our mobile phones are causing us to disconnect from those around us and our children have a much deeper impact of this phenomenon. Hence, be a watchful parent and let the device not rule your child’s life. These simple guidelines can help you connect better with your child and you will have a much more joyful relationship with them.
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