But it doesn’t have to be this way. While technology has become a part of our lives, it’s not too late to show our children that there are plenty of other ways to have fun other than being cooped up inside the house with a gadget.
Here are 5 creative and effective ways to keep your child off gadgets:
Set a good example
Children, especially young ones, tend to copy what their parents or guardians do. If you’re always on your phone, that’s probably what sparked their curiosity in the first place. Set an example to them and embody what you teach – take some time off your phone, laptop, tablet or television each day and find alternative ways to have fun.
Use this time to play with your children out in your backyard or take them to the park. If your children can see that you can have fun without gadgets, they’ll believe they can, too.
Note: If you must use a gadget, don’t let the kids see. Do what you have to do then go back to your gadget-free time.
Don’t make the gadgets accessible
One reason why kids spend so much time watching TV or playing video games is because they’re readily available. Keep your phones and tablets in a place that’s not accessible to your child and impose limits on the TV, computer or game consoles.
You can give him 1 hour of TV a day, or he can only play video games during the weekends.
Change his routine
The goal is to make your child understand that his free time isn’t synonymous to screen time. Introduce new fun activities that could turn into hobbies like painting, playing a sport or reading books. For younger kids, regular play dates will greatly help.
Bring your child outdoors
It could be as simple as playing with other children at the park or planning a family camping trip. The outdoors is full of fascinating things that are good for sensory play, and it will encourage the child to learn and explore things that he doesn’t normally see around the house.
Keep things exciting for your child
This may sound overwhelming, but it’s actually quite simple because it doesn’t take much for kids to be happy. If you feel that he’s bored with an activity that was previously his favorite, it means that you need to introduce new ones. It’s also ideal to involve yourself in these activities as much as you can.
Kids want nothing more than to play with you, and if they often do, they’d choose that over a gadget any time.