My Childhood and theirs!

My favorite childhood memories involved playing in the sand under the sun’s heat with other children in Africa and making things from clay with no worries in the world. Education and religion were priorities for me, as it was for my parents.

Over just a couple of years, parenting has become much more demanding than it used to be. And as a parent now, it is more challenging because we are expected to do more with our children than our parents did with us. This is because children grow and are exposed to new interests and want to explore new things that society presents.

The complexities of social media, the increasingly global conflict, adverse childhood experiences, racially negative experiences as a youngster, the climate catastrophe, the effects of the cost-of-living crisis, and the stages of sexual, gender, and racial development are just a few of the challenges children face. A child or young person may be more vulnerable to mental health issues because of these several risk factors.

As children and young people get immersed in the advanced and technical world of gadgets and social media, it is important to know that excessive usage may affect their social skills. It often makes children isolated, introverted, and alone. I must admit, I often use gadgets to pacify and entertain my children, but recently realized the negative impact it has on their social skills.

Research by Common Sense Media revealed an exceptional increase in children using gadgets such as ipads, phones, tablets, and social media and that the usage has increased within the last few years. 59% of parents feel their teens are addicted to their mobile devices. On average, 8- to 12-year-olds use about five and a half hours of screen media per day, while 13- to 18-year-olds use about eight and a half hours of screen media.

So, how can we, as parents and guardians, help our children during this digital age?

Strategies like banning children from technology or punishment simply aren’t effective. Most often, it leads to arguments over screen time, unhappy children, and frustrated parents.

We all want to give our children the most extraordinary upbringing possible and ensure they are healthy and safe. Our children’s mental, physical, social, and emotional well-being should be our first focus as parents and caregivers in this day and age.

But not only for children, but for our mental well-being too.

Here are 4 ways to deter children from prolonged usage of gadgets at home.

  • Set a good example for your child: – Children often watch and observe your actions and behaviour without you knowing. If you often stay on phones and gadgets, try doing something different. If you keep the gadgets away from your child, do the same as well for yourself. Get the children involved in a routine and engage them as well. Bake a cake, make a drawing, etc to engage the kids. 
  • Set rules of ‘No Gadgets’ at certain times: – Dinner time is an opportunity to bond as a family and engage the children. Bedtime can be used to read a book or tell a story. It is important to set simple rules with children about the use of gadgets at home.
  • Invite friends and families: – feeling well connected to other people promotes positive mental and physical well-being. It helps children learn the importance of social interaction and build their social skills. Play board games, BBQ in the garden, and outdoor activities are great ways to socialize.
  • Develop your child’s skills and talent: – Every child is special and unique. Children learn something new every day when they can explore the world around them. Get them to try new activities, join a dance club, do reading and writing competitions, swimming, etc.

I Am A...


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