“My son is only happy when he’s looking at a screen! What can I do?"
Generation z or digital natives, whatever you want to call them, they’re all the same: super-technological, tablet or smartphone or even a computer always in hand. So what do we do to get our children out of this screen prison?
In this article we talked about how using technology in small doses, in an educational manner, helps to develop cognitive skills in children. As modern parents know, for most children born in the digital era, technology has no secrets. Whether it's a video game, an interactive application or simply a pastime, the screen seems to mesmerise our kids, alienating them from the world.
“I have tried everything in the book, but my son is only happy looking at a screen!” How often have you heard (or said) this? What can we do to limit the use of these technological tools, without tears and tantrums?
Moms and Dads, don’t panic! As we have already said, technology, if used moderately, stimulates the skills and development of your children!
Here are simple ways to limit the time your kids spend in front of a screen:
- Set the rules: make your kids understand that they can of course spend time using tech tools, but within certain limits. Try to show your children how important it is to alternate tech tools with other activities. Decide how long they can use their tech tools every day, without being too strict about it. Be flexible, above all initially.
- Once screen time is up, suggest alternatives: remember to suggests activities that your child enjoys, such as games or activities with other children or adults. That will distract them more easily and get them away from the screen.
- Tell your children how proud you are of them when they succeed: children love to play and succeed. Inventing a reward system will make them put more effort into the next challenge. Be there for your kids and try to share their “passion” for tech tools. Sharing their interests not only allows you to connect with your kids but also helps you understand what makes your kids enjoy using tech tools so much.
- Remember to set the example: let's not forget that children learn by imitating adults. Don’t spend too much time looking at a screen, don’t use a pc or tablet during mealtimes and always get across to your children what fun it is to do things together rather than just looking at a screen.
Finally, remember that like anything else, you need to find the right balance. Excessive use of technology can certainly be a concern for parents, but teaching your children to use it properly, simply as a pastime and, above all, under supervision, makes everything a lot easier.
So let’s not pretend that technology is going to go away. It won’t! It’s part of our daily lives and that of our children. What we need to do is use it properly rather than turning it into a big bad wolf!