Parenting challenges in this digital age
The first and foremost challenge for a parent nowadays is to determine how much time one should devote on electronic gadgets. Be it a child, a teen or a parent, everyone seems to be hooked on to SmartPhone, SmartTV or internet enabled PC. When most of the now media content is available in next media, the question which troubles most of us is, “Whether anyone really cares about what time one is devoting on the internet?”
New technologies have become an easy way for children to learn and develop hand-eye coordination; however, as parents, we need to know when enough is enough. Kids who spend more than 2-3 hours per day on mobile, TV, laptop, tablet or PC may have higher risk of developing health issues than children who devote less time. We all know that if our children are not getting enough exercise, personal time with friends or time to play games in park, their screen time may tend to become more harmful than being purposeful. Therefore, the real challenge in this digital age is how to steal, yes how to snatch away ‘family-time’ and/or ‘me-time’ from ‘digital-time.’ Sounds awkward? But surprisingly, it is true. Honestly, answer yourself, “How many minutes before did you check your inbox for message? Can you resist the temptation of checking Whatsapp, Facebook or other notification this hour? If not, how can you expect your child, who is observing your habits, to avoid access to cartoon channels or internet enabled gadgets?”
Can you resist the temptation of checking Whatsapp, Facebook or other notification this hour? If not, how can you expect your child, who is observing your habits, to avoid access to cartoon channels or internet enabled gadgets?
You may lie to him/her that you were doing your office work. But sooner or later, your child will discover that the clip or the movie which you just downloaded or uploaded has no connection with your office work. The first challenge, therefore, is self-restriction and once you set an example for your kid, then you can ask him/her to follow your footsteps. The second challenge is to monitor the content that your kid is watching on social media. With lots of violent and objectionable stuff being made available on internet platforms, it really is a challenge to filter that stuff out and act as a censor-board head. The biggest question then that arises is whether the kids will really obey you? Kids definitely need space but not at the cost of their health. They may not be able to resist the temptation of watching what they are forbidden or may not be able to curtail the number of hours spent in front of such gadgets. They may not be able to decide where and when to draw the line. Keep your mobile away for 16 to 24 hours and check whether you can stay without it. The same may be the case with children. You might have observed that many young people today show signs of addiction. Last resort would be paying a visit to a psychologist or a psychiatrist.
We can try to engage our family members in physical games/activities or prepare meals which appeals to them. How about accepting the challenge for preparing the best sweet dish today? How about a race with your kid(s) in the park?
Prevention is always better than cure. Therefore, setting up time limits for your ward is one of the best possible options. If the child is able to adhere to the time-table, it can work wonders. As the need arises, you may re-work the time-table. Remember, we need to use technology in our favour but most judiciously and as much wisely as possible. If you have understood what I mean and you agree with most of the things said here today, then ask yourself, “Am I ready to switch off this device now?” Perplexed? This is probably due to addiction! We need to set an example first so that our kids can proudly follow us. We can try to engage our family members in physical games/activities or prepare meals which appeals to them. How about accepting the challenge for preparing the best sweet dish today? How about a race with your kid(s) in the park? Most parents may not win, but that is what the kid wants. He/she wants to win the race. Why not let the children win? This way they will be happy. And this is what you desire (you want to see them happy). Am I right?
I will be glad if some of you have wonderful suggestion(s) to share on this platform. Let’s conquer some space in cute little hearts and then see them make this world more beautiful.
Wishing you happier days ahead!
This article is written by Vijay Gandhi. He is a father of 9.5-year-old son and can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org
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