Your child wakes up in the morning and you can see she is looking for something. As if the morning is incomplete without this quest. You see her eyes land on your phone and you know- screens have gripped your little one’s imagination. At different points in time during the day, this realization hits you. And then you start noticing the other symptoms- anger, anxiety, loss of focus. You know it’s time to act.
Research has compared screen addiction with other more serious forms of addiction and it is believed to release dopamine which negatively impacts impulse control. Parents have continued to struggle with this issue all the more in 2020 given the self imposed lockdown that many families have been observing.
We caught up with Child Pyschologist, Parul Johar to understand how moms can effectively deal with this challenge.
Check your own screen addiction first: Parents should act like role models for kids. No matter what age group the child falls in. Try to limit your screen time first. Don’t carry your phone with you all the time. Detach yourself from the screen. Constant screen anxiety.
Try to engage kids in off screen activities: Play board games with them like Ludo, Scrabble. As opposed to playing games online. Play them in physical form.
Involve your kid in daily household chores: Cooking, cleaning. If you are preparing dinner, ask your kids to lay the table for you. This will decrease your burden and help them have a sense of their ownership for their homes too. Before lockdown, they have an opportunity to take ownership of their own homes. Tell them to make their own bed. Cleaning up their own room.
Try to engage your kids in mindful activities : Mindfulness activities like yoga and meditation early in the morning also go a long way in restoring balance and reducing anxiety.
Involve them in important decision making: With older kids, the issue can be discussed. It’s best to set some ground rules and have their buy in when you are making a plan for limiting screen use.
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