The one thing that bothers all parents across the globe is the way their kids are so hooked to technology, especially gaming, social media and texting. Most parents are worried how their children have totally forgotten playing outdoors and are stuck to mobile screens through out the day. There are several risks involved. On one hand, while children are at the risk of health problems like obesity, weaker bones, weaker muscles, growth related problems and even type II diabetes, on the other hand children are at the risk of social and emotional problems like cyber bullying, lack of confidence in the real world, low self-esteem, acceptability issues amongst peers, lack of sleep and even depression.
That said, technology still remains to be an important complement of modern lifestyle and it is not practically viable to keep children away. Moreover, since everyone around is using technology, you cannot ask your children specifically to refrain from it.
However, there can be a practical path or a midway where in your kids get to the online, socialize with their friends but at the same time do not get obsessed with it. If you have been struggling to find that mid way, here are a few tips to help you get started.
- Talk to your children – The first and the foremost step would be to talk to your children candidly and let them know your inhibition about Technology. Tell them the health risks involved I also let them know about the emotional and psychological problems they are susceptible to. Let them know what’s cyber bullying is. You must re-assure kids of your support just in case they get into a messy situation.
- Allocate time – You need to reasonably chalk out time for all their activities including online socializing. You can create a timetable or work out a schedule where the kid gets to do everything for a specific time like homework, hobbies, cycling and mobile. Children are often very busy so the kids might need your help sticking to the schedule. Do not get annoyed or lose patience if the child is not able to keep up to the schedule. Understand what’s taking time, you might have to adjust the schedule accordingly.
- Trust your kids and respect privacy - The worst thing you can do is to spy on you kid. Kids want their privacy on as a parent you need to respect that. Kids tend to turn rebel if they feel they are not trusted or their personal space is being intruded. Moreover, they need their space to learn and grow.
- A word of caution – While it’s important to give space and freedom to your children, it’s equally important to tell them to be cautious. Tell your kids that’s not cool to interact with strangers especially in the online world. For school, hobby and sports groups, where group interactivity and messaging is important, parents can choose messaging apps that do not compromise number privacy but at the same time ensure group connectivity. Check out team Apps like InstaTeam for team messaging and interaction without compromising number privacy.