Have you noticed your little ones are a lot more restless and fidgety? Do your little ones have an adverse reaction to you being on the phone? Believe it or not, that could be because as our times are getting increasingly more technology oriented, there is a lack of real face to face communication and much needed quality time spent with loved ones.
Dr Jenny Radesky, a paediatrician with Boston Medical Center, specializing in child development, conducted an anthropological study recently on 55 groups of parents with young children. Forty parents used a mobile phone at meal time and many were more absorbed in the device than their children. Such children were seen to turn violent, sang loudly or even shouted to draw their parent’s attention.
Most psychiatrists and paediatricians are attributing the sudden spur of aggressive behaviour in toddlers these days to excessive use of phones and other gadgets at home, around children. Radesky believes constant use of gadgets by parents is a big mistake as “face-to-face interactions are the primary way children learn. They learn language, about their own emotions, how to regulate them, how to read other people’s facial expressions. And if that’s not happening, children are missing out on important development milestones.”
So, why not try a gadget-free day per week, or may be half a day over the weekend? Just switch-off your cell phones for a few hours and observe the change in your child. And in yourself.
Disconnecting with your phone for a day and connecting with your little ones.
We understand that setting your phone aside for a whole day might be easier said than done. With constant work calls and e-mails, having one’s phone around all the time is slowly becoming more of a necessity than a desire.
If your little ones are of the appropriate age and own mobile phones too, we understand it will be equally hard for them to put their phones aside. However, with the right explanation we’re sure they will be more than happy to comply with a ‘mobile phone free’ day!
So, what can you do with all this time (and no mobile phones) in your hands?
Get together with your little ones and dip your fingers in a tub of paint and paint the town in colours of your imagination. Make your own home orchestra with empty vessels and tumblers full of water. Or give them a planter and a scraper and let them plant their own sapling.
For just a day, switch off all devices. Watch them chase little bugs and butterflies in the garden. Muddy puddles? Let them make a splash. Who cares about a little dirty t-shirt when there is oodles of fun to be had.
Got older kids? Let them bake a little cake. Make tie-dye or marble prints. Or go on a long nature walk together. Or be at home, and indulge in good old role play. Dress up as favourite characters from their books and channel your inner child.
Our little ones grow up way faster than we imagine, so any quality time spent with them, and only them, goes a long way in creating memories that last a lifetime!
With children out of school, physical distancing as the new norm, and children’s rights under threat, the new world order has “turned back the clock” on years of progress made on children’s well-being. However, it’s not all bad. As a human race, we’ve been built to adapt: we’ve seen a tipping point in technology-enabled education and the promise of a new education policy in our country.