With online learning slowly becoming the new normal, our kids have been having extended screen time. And if you add their leisure TV/phone/tab-watching to this, it can prove quite stressful for their eyes. Additionally, being active solely in the virtual world can lead to all sorts of social, psychological and physical problems at the later stage of a child’s life. However, there are ways to ensure that your child stays creatively-engaged, without relying entirely upon screen time. Here are a few ideas that can help you put this into practice:
Take this opportunity to actually have a heart-to-heart interaction with your little one. Instead of simply telling them what is right and what is wrong, try asking them what they feel is the right thing to do. Ask them why, how, what, where, when, etc., just as they ask you. This can go a long way in helping you understand your child better and give you an insight into why they are behaving the way they are behaving. You can even discuss some of your problems with them and ask them for a solution. This will help them realise that even grown-ups can have bad days. You will be surprised to see how much kids love to participate in a “mature” conversation. Once they realise that they can actually come up with solutions for day-to-day problems, it would give a major boost to their confidence.
This is the age where kids love to imitate us and show interest in being treated like an adult. Use this drive to actually give them some chores that will not only provide them with that sense of achievement but also help build their fine and gross motor skills. You can ask them to dust around the house, move some light-weight things, water the plants, wear clothes on their own, and even attend their online classes independently. Of course, you would have to keep a keen eye on them initially but once you start staying in the background, they would get a chance to be in the forefront and do some “adulting”.
Each child is unique and more often than not, what interests one kid, may not interest the other. Take the time to understand what piques your child’s intrigue. If you find your child asking a lot of questions about cooking, start by involving them more in the kitchen. Ask them to pick ingredients, come up with recipes, and more. If they are curious about music, let them experiment with sounds by tapping various surfaces in the house. What might seem like “noise” to you, maybe your child’s way of understanding tone, rhythm, vibration, etc
Excessive screen time for entertainment purposes can make your child seek instant gratification all the time. The onus falls on us parents to show our kids what wonders the physical world has to offer! Let them wake up early sometimes to witness a sunrise from their balcony. Involve them in gardening and see the awe in their eyes when tiny sprouts shoot from the seeds that they put in the soil. Put some fun music on or let them read that book to you. Let them paint the sunset sky and give them a chance to see the beauty that surrounds them. Because of that your child stays creatively-engaged.
Whether we like it or not, technology is here to stay. In a world full of mobiles, tabs, laptops, etc., it is extremely hard to hold your child’s attention in the physical world. Irrespective of how tough or impossible the task may seem, as parents we must always try to make your child stays creatively-engaged which feel connected with the real world and the surrounding environment. The trick is to work as a team and see the positive shift in your child’s attitude and perception!