The most common method of distracting children from gadgets is technical restriction of access to the Internet. This is a fairly simple, but at the same time tough method. At first glance, it seems simple: it’s enough to set parental control on the child’s phone, leave only the call function for communication, and you can be calm.
However, this method has a significant disadvantage: the forbidden fruit is sweet. You can always use one of the many tricks and bypass the parental blocking of any electronic device, or find access to content outside the home and control. So such measures are not a panacea at all.
One of the most effective methods of parenting is to demonstrate a pattern of behavior through your own example. Instead of rigid restrictions and blocking, demonstrate to the child that it’s bad to surf the net all the time.
Put away the gadgets and don’t play online roulette or work from your phone while being with your kids, do something interesting and useful together: board games, homework, cleaning. Gradually, this useful and pleasant pastime will become a habit for your child. If you yourself are constantly “hanging out” on the phone, your child will copy this behavior.
Allow Not Forbid
In fact, parents need to ask themselves the question: is there any point in restricting a child’s access to gadgets, if he will sooner or later start actively using them anyway?
The new generation of children is growing up in a fundamentally different time than their parents. Accordingly, modern children think differently. For us, the smartphone has become an integral part of life, while for them it’s originally a natural object. Demanding that children refuse or limit the use of their favorite gadgets is wrong and even harmful.
Developmental Internet Resources
It’s best to teach children to use modern resources intelligently, efficiently and with maximum benefit. For example, YouTube has a lot of necessary and interesting content, which is actively used by the younger generation. Children are engaged in self-development through social networks, for them, it’s an important factor of self-realization.
The reaction of peers to their videos or photos on social media is equal to the reaction to their appearance or clothes. In some cases, this reaction is even more emotionally important for the child than the reaction in the material world, because there is much more communication in social networks, and therefore the audience is wider.
Development and Guidance
Another gentle but effective way to distract children from their smartphone is to occupy them with something outside school: enroll them in a club, sports section or dance studio. For example, if a child is attracted to the phone as a gadget, you can bring him into a specialized circle with a technical orientation: programming, robotics, editing, working with audio, photo, video files. In such a club, the child will enjoy doing what he or she loves, learning, and getting the most out of it.
Or if he is, for example, fond of the computer game Minecraft, offer him an alternative in the form of Lego Technic sets, which will captivate the child and allow him to take a break from his smartphone.
If a child uses the phone for creativity, you can try to channel his energy into classes of music, dance, acting or sports. In this case, the child can realize his potential in the real world instead of the virtual one. For example, we have developed classes for young bloggers in which we teach kids to come up with scripts, shoot and edit videos for TikTok.
Socialization and Activity
A great way to distract your child from virtual reality is to communicate with peers, play outside, soccer, snowball, and other activities. Another great idea is to organize joint family outings to museums, movies, theater or the skating rink on the weekends. An interesting example of restricting gadgets during school vacations is children’s camps, most of which have restrictions on phone use.
For example, take away children’s phones for the duration of the shift and give them away for just one hour in the evening to talk to their parents, tell them how they are doing, share their impressions or for creative activities if necessary. At camp, children have no time to be bored if they don’t have a phone in their hands.
So, children’s rest from gadgets is painless. The main thing in such camps is to make photo reports about life in the camp and connect a 24-hour hotline so parents can find out at any time what their child is doing.
Nowadays, smartphones give their owners millions of possibilities. And children can both mindlessly spend time in them, and develop and learn something new. The main task of parents is to help them choose the right path!