The current generation is growing up in the lap of technology. It has become an indispensable part of our life. Kids nowadays need guidance not just in the real world but also in the virtual world. You have a dual responsibility. You have to make them a good citizen in both the worlds. Kids using technology can go in two ways, either they can make the best of it or misuse it. Hence, it becomes your responsibility to regulate your child’s use of technology so that it becomes a boon for them rather than a curse.
Not having pseudo-rules
Here, pseudo-rules mean, you have rules but only namesake. Sometimes there are not even pseudo-rules too. Understandably, you don’t want to make your home an office. But, rules are not necessary only for an organization. Rules help in maintaining a structure. And if that is what you need at home, you require rules.
If kids are using technology in any way they want, then it can be a huge problem. Hence, rules are necessary. Now only making rules and framing them is not enough. You actually have to enforce them. And be consistent about it. The imposition of regulations should not vary according to your mood. For example; if you are angry, rules will be followed; if you are happy, they will follow the regulations; if you are sad, guess what? They still have to follow them.
Nowadays, kids are using technology effortlessly and possibly better than us. It is something this generation has as its foundation. Everything is becoming digitized. The new world is heavily dependent on technology. So in such a condition, it does not make sense to keep them away from it. You are taking them backward in time. Now, I don’t have a problem going in the past, as long as I am going in a time machine which will bring me back. By the way, which will also require technology, just saying.
The moral of the story is don’t try to shield them from technology. Help your kids embrace technology. Instead of banning them from the virtual world, teach them the right way to use it. These are powerful tools that will help your child succeed. The more you will try to keep them away from technology, the more they will want to use it. And once they set in their minds that they will use it just because you said ‘no,’ you are going to be in a huge problem. Don’t say I didn’t warn you then. (because I just did.)
Live a balanced life yourself.
Children want to do everything the grown-ups are doing. Having a balance in all your life aspects is something that your kids need to learn from you. It is one of the places where you can put this habit of theirs to proper use. If you are living a reasonably balanced life, then you have nothing to worry about in regards to regulating your child’s use of technology. Only theory lessons are not going to be enough for kids. Practicals are not optional. If you tell them that they have to watch less TV, then you also have to reduce your TV time.
If you are having trouble getting away from the TV, you cannot expect it from your little kid. Lead by example. Don’t ask anything of your child that you aren’t able to do yourself. First, put yourself on the regime. If you can handle, then go ahead and involve the kids.
Be firm in your approach.
There is a stark difference between being firm and being strict. These approaches are poles apart. These may seem to be the same, but they aren’t. Whatever rules you have made, stay firm on them. Don’t budge. Keep it simple. There will be pre decided rules. And pre decided rules will have penalties should the rules not be followed. Your children need to understand that they will be held accountable for their reactions. They will never respect any regulation you ever put forward henceforth.
Kids will always try to bypass the rules. And if they realize that these rules don’t hold any values, then they are going to exploit it to their advantage.
Give them alternatives
It is not always the case that kids are using technology because they are addicted to it. There are twenty-four hours in a day. Children don’t go to the office, so they have a lot of time on their hands and nothing to do. In this scenario, they turn to the only thing that they know to fill a void in time. Yes, you smart chaps guessed it right, Technology. Why should they not use their free time to watch videos or play games? Valid question. It so happens that this playing or watching time unbeknownst to them, cuts into the ‘homework time.’
Here is a two-part plan that will help regulate the use of technology. Part one: take away their gadgets after a mutually decided time. Part two: replace the devices with other fun activities that they will like. Remember, this plan will not work if you only follow through with the partial strategy. What are they supposed to do if you take away their only source of entertainment? Stare at the walls? (good color yellow for a wal
l, what do you think?) Children like being occupied. If they are doing nothing for a while, then they can’t handle it. They have a lot of energy. Let them use it properly. An idle mind is a devil’s workshop.
These are the ways in which technology will become a boon for your child. These changes will not be fruitful in just a day. You have to give it time. Let the rules settle in. Once they get familiar with the rules and get to know them properly, things will improve. Have faith in them and you. It will happen, all that is required is time.