Who wouldn’t be concerned about too many non-human interactions in their child’s life? When their dependence on smartphones becomes unsettling, use kids safety apps to restore their real-world connections!
Our kids and we are both unique in a way that we both are ‘the first.’ We are the first generation of parents to feel the charismatic pull of our smartphones around the clock. And our kids are the first generation of children never to have seen a day without a mobile!
Parents are at a point where they find it difficult to accept that they are enamored by snapchat, Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, and web series. And they refuse to accept that it’s their fascination, which is pushing kids far from them and nearer to the smartphones.
As parents, ask yourself:
- Have I started leading a sedentary lifestyle rather than playing a game or two with my child? Do I prefer to spend time alone with my phone instead of taking a stroll after a meal?
- Do I still take out time for my hobbies as a stress reliever? Or is it again a phone I resort to entertain me?
- Would I like my child to follow my footsteps, adapting my digital etiquette? Do my smartphone manners match the advice I relay to my kids?
The introspection will help you realize if you, too, are entrapped in the vicious circle of digital obsession. The consequences of this neglected parenting are not known yet, but they are comprehensible for sure.
Read More – 20 Insightful Quotes About Parenting
Many teens complain about their parents being constantly distracted by phones and not paying enough attention to them. Parents checking their phones while driving, with a car full of kids, is quite a common sight. How dangerous that can be!
Let us understand how to regain the balance in the parent-child relationship and instill healthy digital etiquettes in ourselves first to pass down to the next generation.
Help your child by improving your tech habits
1) Make a note of your actual phone needs
We all have different technology-related needs. It would be impractical to declare every use as illegitimate on the phone. But we need to take it upon chin that we certainly get on the phone in front of kids more than we need to.
So, it is useful to make a list of your important everyday phone activities. Find out what activities on the phone are critical for your job and which are the ones you use for fun and refreshing?
Try to be engaged in mobile only when it is not interrupting family moments.
2) Have a family discussion about appropriate smartphone use
Encourage the kids to present their views and ideas about phone use around the house. Try to make them understand why you need to attend to it at times. Together a family can figure out rules for technology usage at home, which would apply to all.
You can also discuss various social media platforms, apps, and technology advancements, treating them equally. Talking to children in a way that resonates with them is undoubtedly a game-evolving step!
Read Also – How Can Parents Control Phone Cravings?
3) Post smartphone rules where everyone can see them
Children get comforted by the notion that it’s not only them who’s been asked to follow the rules. An ideal list should be short, simple yet clear. You can paste it on a freeze.
- No phones during meals
- No phones in the bedroom
4) When at home, give kids undivided attention
You can designate a box or a drawer where you can stash your phone when you’re at home. It is alright if you reply to a few essential calls or emails. Use the phone for entertainment when a kid is engaged in projects or sports and does not need your attention.
5) Identify your habit triggers
We unintentionally reach for our phones in certain situations, don’t we?
Is there anything you can do differently during those times, besides looking at your phone? Or what you need to do to include your kids in those moments?
Changes develop at their pace; given time, effort, and patience, almost any habit can be reshaped.
6) Filter and turn off all the unnecessary notifications
The sound of alerts, beeping can be disturbing, urging you to check what it could be. And we all know that most of the time, it’s not worth looking at. Don’t allow notifications to interrupt in your valuable ‘we time.’
7) Use ‘Do Not Disturb’ while having meals together
Due to work commitments, it is not feasible to have all meals together. But we must try to have at least one meal where everybody is present, going through day to day rundown without the interference of smartphones.
8) Remove addictive apps and make your device faster
There are some games and apps, which are designed by professionals in a way to make them addictive. Don’t overlook the red flag and get rid of those apps.
We tend to download unnecessary apps, images, and videos; and never bother about deleting them. Do we realize how much space do they occupy, making our phone slower? You need to remove them to make your phone more efficient to use.
9) Install an app to monitor the usage
Certain apps show you the mirror. They inform about how often you unlock the mobile, how much time you denote after your favorite apps. Then they allow you to limit the screen time or app usage accordingly.
10) If possible, keep your phone on ‘airplane plane’ at night
If you compulsorily follow this regime of keeping your phone on ‘flight mode’ at night, you would save yourself from various distractions. You can assign this time for some productive hobby, say reading, which is sure to set a perfect example for your child as well!
Saying no to ‘smartphone parenting’ must be the smartest move for any parent. Demonstrate your mindfulness in front of children by putting down a phone during meals or whenever they need your attention.
But as we know, smartphones are a lifeline for teenagers, so parents must invest in parental controls to help their children sail through incredible teen years with panache and assurance of safety.