Nowadays, kids as young as two years old know how to operate a tablet or a smartphone. Gone are the days when kids have a wider set of interests like playing outside, reading a book, or creating art. They mostly sit inside and stay in front of a screen all day. So how, as a parent, can you reduce your kids’ use of gadgets without making them feel like you’re taking something away from them? Here are four clever ways to minimize gadget time of kids:
Set an example
Of course, the best way to teach a kid is to set an example for them. If your child sees you constantly fidgeting with a gadget, whether that is your laptop, tablet, or phone, they will copy the same behaviour from you. So, make an effort to set a good example for them. Pick up a book once in a while and have a quiet reading time with the family. You can also schedule a time during the weekends when you make creative DIY projects with your kids.
Don’t buy your children gadgets
Just because their peers have their own gadgets doesn’t mean that your children do too. It is harder to control your kids’ gadget time if you buy them their own phone or tablet. If they ask you if they could have their own, tell them no and in a very clear and concise manner, explain why. You can talk to them about the importance of money and spending it wisely, or how they can use their time more productively. To compromise, you can buy them a toy instead. Monopoly, for example, is a long and fun game to play with your kids. They can also play it when their friends come over.
Get them interesting toys
There are a lot of interesting toys that you can replace gadgets with. Science sets, for instance, are not only fun but they’re also educational. You can also get your kid’s Flow Ringz from The Works. This metal toy is mesmerizing to look at, so your child will have a ton of fun with it. Other interesting toys are Rubik’s cube, kinetic sand, and fidget spinner.
Turn gadgets into a prize
What this means is you give your child extra gadget time for doing chores around the house. If you only let them use gadgets for 30 minutes every day, give them another 10 minutes for washing the dishes or making their beds in the morning. (This tip only works for older children.) Not only will this encourage good behavior, but it will also make your children feel like their gadgets are something that they need to earn. After all, you are not required as a parent to buy gadgets for your child. It is a privilege to use these gadgets, and they should know it.
So, these are some parenting tips on how you can minimize gadget time of your kids. Hopefully, these will work to prevent gadget addiction and to help your children develop more diverse interests.