I was cynically looking at the children’s progress report card and worrying myself sick as to how in spite of the best efforts; they were still lagging behind their classmates. I decided to give it a shot at reducing their screen time in a bid to get them to books and school activity.
I knew the futility of beginning this exercise not because I was hopeless but because I had tried this one before too very less success. It works only when the entire family is on the same plane.
We refuse to turn off our computers, turn off our phones, log off our Facebook and just sit in silence because in those moments we might actually have to face up two we really are.” – Jefferson Bethe.
Those days I remember reading an article on this and choking myself on the above quote.
I suddenly realized that the challenge was something. That we were one of the first set of parents who were bringing up our children in a world full of I Everything and trying to futilely wean them away from technology while we are clinging on to it.
The spiritual Sadh guru whom I follow once said very clearly in a sermon: “children will never listen to you but they will observe you.”
There is a good point in setting an example than bossing over them rather than give them your mind without practicing it yourself.
If you want your son or daughter to quit their devices and get back to playing or books or anything else, you need to first disconnect. You will need to have rules for your entire household. You cannot have double standards and kids or adults both covered.
I have experience and I tell you all this from it!
A couple of months ago, I decided to draw up a timetable for using devices and got us a cosy tent. The living room is hustling since then with kids actually role-playing in the house and imagining stories and enacting them. Why didn’t I think of this idea before, duh!
- Make rules for everyone;
- Switch off on stipulated time;
- Screen time is minimum one to two hours daily;
- Log off social media;
- Wifi needs to be optional; not a necessity at all.
- Encourage role-playing in kids;
- Encourage them to play outside.