Technology is the present and future, it is undeniable, but it has taken over so much of our lives that we can’t imagine living without it anymore. From being in touch with an old friend and responding to emails to staying in touch with the happenings of the world and paying bills, everything has become easy and we take it for granted. I mean a couple of weeks ago, so many of us had meltdowns because the internet was down on o2 phones for a day! I am so grateful for this technology, without it, I wouldn’t be able to work from home and spend the amount of time I do with Lucas.
However, I don’t want it to impact of Lucas’ life so much but it is such a big part of life that I want him to be able to access it. Lucas is 4 in February and knows his way around my phone, tablets and an XBox, I would love to be able to find a healthy balance of him using technology and using ordinary toys, being out in the fresh air and using his imagination.
Read on to discover how you can take steps to make your children less impacted by technology.
Try a Digital Detox
All of us need a digital detox from time to time. Focus on building a home environment where you all exercise your judgement before making a decision about technology in your life. You don’t have to start living in the stone age, you just have to start taking small and active steps to reduce and minimise the use of technology in your day. Maybe set a time each day when nobody in the house will use technology.
Plan Real Experiences
Focusing on helping your children enjoy real experiences like playing football with his friends, going out for an ice cream, taking a walk down the woods with a picnic, even just lying down in the grass, watching the stars.
Be an Example
This obviously has to be on my list. If you’re someone who tends to stay on the phone all the time, attending calls, sending out emails and even creating to-do lists and reminders, that’s what the children will copy. Lucas often picks up my phone and says he’s got to do some work. I’m conscious of this and want to be a good role model for him and show him how it is great to live life away from technology too, and how it can be an enjoyable and relaxing experience in itself.
Create the Right Mindset
Instead of highlighting the downside of technology and portraying it as the negative character all the time, try to modify your child’s mindset about it. Help him understand that technology is available at his disposal no doubt, but that isn’t the only option. For example, if you’ve got a young reader, encourage him to go old school and get more of paperback books as opposed to the E book versions. Lucas loves visiting the library and will often tell them the type of book he would like if he can’t find it. They are so encouraging of this and order books in from other libraries. If you have a child who’s a budding artist, encourage him to paint and draw on paper instead of using the tablet. Make children aware of the options they have and gently push them towards trying them.
Talya has some great suggestions here about how to limit screen time for children