Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it-Proverbs 22:6
“Ma, I am bored. Can I watch TV?” ” Dad can I play one game on the mobile, please?” Sounds familiar??Just giving in to these demands without thought, may make you wonder later- “Why does my child not communicate? Why is he always with that gadget??” I believe that the habits and attitudes aquired in childhood sticks on, even as one grows into adulthood. Young parents, hard pressed for time due to the work pressure, household and financial responsibilities, find it difficult to make time for their child. So the easiest way to finish that grocery shopping, or sending that email out is by keeping your child engaged with something, right? Yes, you are right!! Only … you need to think what is that ‘something’, you are offering the child?
As a teacher, I have had parents request me to speak with the child and tell him/her to refrain from watching/playing on the tab. They have come to a stage where the child is addicted to the device…and any form of addiction that takes you away from your basic wellbeing is bad! Then we wonder why are children lack basic social skills. So what do we do?
Few tips for young parents to get their children engaged in the ‘right’ things: 1.Manipulatives and Games: Building blocks, linking cubes, puzzels, crayons, playdough, big picture story books etc. Ensure they are safe and age-appropriate. Sit with the child to get them started. Involve children in household chores like sorting the laundry, washing the vegetables etc. Play board games, hide and seek, find the thing/picture- (you say the word and the child has to go around the house and find the thing/picture for you) or reading a story or asking the child to look at the pictures in the story and tell you what they see or think about it. Children love doing activities with parents. 2.No-Gadget time: Make it a point to keep the phones aside during meal times and talk time. “Now it is dinner time, so let’s all keep our phones aside.” Set an example for the child, by being one! 3.Screen-time: Keep a set time aside to watch television/play games- ensure that they watch good and clean stuff. 4.Hobby Fun: Get your child engaged in hobbies- like music, singing, art, sports.
These little steps that you take to help your child grow holistically, will go a long way. Your child will enjoy speaking to you and bonding with you. Remember today’s children are tomorrow’s parents’!!
Enjoy your child…and try out the tips..
Bye for now…