In the modern age, it is almost unthinkable to consider getting rid of laptops or smartphones.
These devices have become so integrated into daily life, it is nearly impossible to function without them as an adult. They are creeping into children’s education too and into their childhoods. Most toddlers now know how to turn on a laptop as well as how to load Peppa Pig on YouTube from a smartphone.
However, as a parent you may be worried about connecting with your child; with so much automation, your child’s underlying needs will still need to be met. So, let’s look at how you can connect with your child or children without eliminating devices.
When it comes to computers, kids love them. They are fun and engaging and can find their favorite songs on demand. So, to keep your kids engaged with the real world, set timers on how long they can play. Some laptops can be programmed to shut down after a set time. So can some kids tablets at Lenovo.com. So, be sure to familiarize yourself with how to set these timers and follow through with them. If your computer does not have an automatic timer, set them yourself. Shut the computer down once it goes and be firm. If your children are younger, offer them other things to do, like playing with toys or drawing. Do not take them off a computer without an activity set up or you’ll just give yourself a headache.
As a parent, you have to set rules, and boundaries and consider discipline. However, to keep you and your child happy, simply talk to them while they are not on a device. Try to teach them conversational skills, which will inevitably help them at school or pre-school. Be sure to talk about things they find interesting – don’t make every talk about the mess in their room or about their schoolwork as this will make them disengage and want to go back on their computer!
In the first 7 years, children develop more than they do in the rest of their life. So, to help them with limiting computer time, set up playtime with other children. This will help them with social skills while also helping them to learn about balancing activities.
Always aim to set playdates with children they already know. If they are young, keep an eye on them. Only allow limited exposure to devices during this period. As this time is about social skills, which are best taught when practiced in real life.
Days out are a great way to spend time with your child away from computers. Best of all they don’t have to cost a bomb either! You can walk around your nearest park or wood or simply visit relatives for the day. If you bring a device along, be sure to once again limit the use as this time is about your child having fun away from a computer.
Have you ever heard that you could learn how to swim by watching a video? No, of course not! This is a skill that requires real-world practice! Try to get your child involved in activities outside of your home which cannot use devices, such as soccer, swimming, or even archery. These will keep your children entertained without a machine being needed.