How to Keep Your Kids Away From Gadgets
If mothers in the 1990s had to ground their kids for playing outside too long, the worst punishment children of the 21st century can ever get is bring seperated from their gadgets.
It’s becoming an even more serious issue these days as more and more kids are getting obsessed and addicted to video games and social media.
As you’ve probably read in news and parenting articles, obsessions and countless hours not moving and fixating their eyes on the screen are becoming sources of problems in children’s health and social life.
Before getting on the methods, it is important that you understand the impact of gaming and gadgets to your children.
Direct and Indirect Damage
One of the obvious impact is on the eyes. Excessive concentration on gaming causes one to ‘forget’ about blinking and resting his eyes. The impact? Poor eyesight.
It leads to lifetime usage of contact lenses or glasses and will only get worse if this habit is not fixed.
Laser will reduce the damage significantly but comes at a hefty price and can only be done for limited times. It also comes with the risk of blindness.
Hand (Carpal Tunnel Syndrome)
Carpal Tunnel syndrome happens when your wrist is constantly used and positioned in a wrong or uncomfortable way. It statrs with tingling sensation of numbness and continues to pain.
On a further level, Carpal Tunnel Syndrome can cause poor coordination between hands and ultimately damage the wrist.
This is a permanent damage where one will not be able to use his hands normally and lose strength in grip, pressing and moving the fingers around.
Almost 25% of children in America are obese according to an article on Medscape. There are many factors that cause this to be prevalent, with not enough exercise being one of them.
Electronic devices are some of the reasons that kids don’t go out anymore.
These are just a few impacts on excessive gaming and use of gadgets. Now, after getting solid explanation of the negative impacts, you should have better determination to not let your children be enslaved by their electronic gadgets!
Getting them to let go of their smart, small, shiny toy
1. Offer them a range of activities
If you want your kids to stay away from games, you need to have alternatives available. Don’t go “Study!” because the reason they play is to have fun. So, think of other fun activities!
No, you don’t need to come up with anything fancy like building a treehouse! Instead, asking them to walk the dog, play fetch with them or ask them to help with household chores with money as prize.
2. Ask them to help you to cook, bake or handing items when fixing the car, plumbing or anything
Getting them involved in doing something that only adults can seemingly do is a fun thing!
Baking and other creativity related activities are also of interest to children. If you notice the type of game that they play, you can also try to do it in real life.
For example, if your daughter likes to play Cooking Mama, promise her that you will be cooking the same food that Cooking Mama has. It will definitely stir her up from being fixated on her screen!
A mother in ScaryMommy showed a wide range of activities she suggested to her sons and you can probably try them out!
3. Retreat back to nature!
Do you still remember the time when you and your friends simply loved to run in the field and climb trees?
These activities are not only healthy. They encourage your children to know more about nature. Remember to not bring too many gadgets and tell your children that you promise fun during the retreat.
Don’t be afraid to get dirty. Letting your children know that you are okay with them exploring as long as it is done within your watch is a good thing.
If you keep warning your kids of how mud is dirty and plants can be poisonous (not all is!), they’ll shy away from exploring and, sooner or later, return to their old habit.
Of course, you need to constantly remind them to wash their hands and bath cleanly to prevent bacteria and viruses from invading their bodies.
4. Support your child’s interest
Each child has different interest and you have to be ready that they might not be what you expected.
Your child can be interested in horse riding, swimming, drawing, astrophysics (could be!), and as a parent, you have to be ready to support them!
5. Set a time
Regulations are needed to keep your children in place. Don’t cut their portion of gaming, but rather, slowly reduce it to an acceptable level. Do this by doing the other 4 suggestions that have been mentioned.
Don’t be afraid or worried if your child pouts or sulks when they realize they are not getting to play as much as they used to. As a parent, you need to gain control over your kid, not the other way around.
But, don’t be paranoid!
Reported on Huffingtonpost is that an hour or less on video games will bring more benefits than none at all! It helps dyslexic kids to read, increase eyesight (interesting), and helps with pain management.
So, moderation is the key. Once you see your kid holding their gadgets with less obsessive pair of eyes, you’ll realize how great you’ve done!