We have a secret formula with which you will be able to stop the Smartphone addiction in your kids.
It’s called BATS Formula!
B – Boredom!
How many times have you heard your child cribbing like this?
“Mummy am bored”
“Papa, I don’t know what to do… Am bored”
When your child says this , we are sure most of you run out of ideas! Whether you’re travelling by car, at someone’s house or out for dinner, it’s a likelihood that you’ll turn to the easiest and ever-present saviour in disguise – the stimulating smartphones.
But Let’s understand what boredom is, and what is its connection with screen time?
Most of the parents have drawn a conclusion that it’s their responsibility to save their children from boredom or that boredom is ‘bad’.
Boredom, on the other hand, is a precursor to creativity. And in today’s digital era creativity is much more valued than IQ or EQ. Today, being ‘different’ matters. And being ‘bored’ is the precedent to thinking differently!
So the next time your child says he/she is bored, don’t rush and react. Instead, throw the ball on their court!
Ask them, “what do you think we can do? Shall we try something different?” And encourage them to come up with solutions that are screen-free!
Here are some alternatives!
A – Alternatives!
First identify what your child is inclined towards. Like does your child like to draw? Sing? Dance? Swim? Play Handball? Go Skating? Or to cook?
Use them as alternatives to screen time! Use their interests positively and get them engaged without screens.
It’s seen that most kids enjoy engaging with nature. So get them kindling their curiosity and engage them more creatively with activities like sowing seeds, watering plants or going on a nature walk !
Here are some ideas:
a) Encourage hobbies
Pick up activities like painting, puzzles, drawing, dancing, etc. Remember that parent’s participation piques the child’s interest immediately.
If your child takes up reading, then provide him/her new books every week, and place rewards for completing each book.
Rewards are always great motivators for children and take him/her off-screen.
But yes, remember, rewards don’t necessarily be chocolates, they can be more books, study materials or even praises. It’s better not to inculcate the habit of rewarding with chocolates and like materials.
b) Spend time for games
“Sports is the best answer to this issue. There must be some kind of active play that your child should be inclined to. Activity on the field provides mental and physical stimulation and TV and phones are completely forgotten then.
Games are one of the easiest ways to help take children off screens. Apart from breaking screen time, your little one has the added benefit of enhancing their key skills
Let’s understand how Outdoor and Indoor games help in children’s skill building.
The outdoor games like football, swimming, etc help:
- Build motor skills
- Strengthen bones and muscles
- Boost the immune system
The Indoor games like carrom board, chess, etc help build:
- coordination skills
- cognitive skills
- decision making skills and so on
c) Engage your child in household chores
A helping Hand!
How about engaging your little one to assist you in household chores?
It not only takes him/her away from the screen but also allows you to spend more time with your child.
For example take cooking.Obviously you wouldn’t let your child near the gas stove buut instead you can ask them to put all the cut pieces of vegetables in one bowl and the leftovers in the trash bag.This would bring in a sense of responsibility.
Cooking together not only builds bonding but it also helps in teaching about cleanliness, discipline, time management, and most importantly how to look after oneself.
Next comes Time!
T – Time
I’m sure most of you must have noticed a pattern in your child’s screen time. There’ll be a certain time in the day when your child is ‘hooked’ to screens. Identify this ‘time’ and break it with something more creative!
While you are driving back home from school after picking your child, does your child get into the car and play games on the phone?
Then break this!
Start singing a song and turn up the volume a little.
Immediately after reaching home, if your child picks up a gadget to play with, break that pattern!Take him/her for a nature walk, or to a class that they enjoy, or somewhere outdoors!
The last one is the most important!
S – Support & Surrounding
We parents generally have the tendency to blame the child when he/she is watching TV or playing with gadgets. Instead, offer them support!
And these days when most of us are peering into our phones all the time, we really cannot blame the kids. Children observe us most of the time. They learn more by our actions than the communication. So it’s up to us to create the right surrounding.
When you bond more with your child, he/she will enjoy your voice more than that of a screen. So share experiences, bond together and give the screens a break!
Take An E-Fast As A Family
So What’s an E-Fast?
Say hello to family time! Set a time limit – say 2 hours, and the entire family puts their gadgets away and go on an e-fast!
Use this time to play, go out and spend time together!
And here’s a tip: don’t forget to talk like them with them!
Family time has a significant impact on screen time. Avoid all gadgets and give way to conversations while Dining together, going for walks, short trips and picnics. These conversations provide an opportunity to interact with your child and for him/her to share things with you.
Kids who are found to be lonely are more likely to look for a sort of companionship in gadgets.
Looking for activities to keep your kids engaged & away from Smartphones?
Checkout our 6 Month Activity bundle!