The other day, I was reading an article about how Bill Gates and Steve Jobs were very strict about restricting the use of technology by their kids. Should we learn something from it? Should we rethink one more time before we let our kids play with a phone to buy some time for ourselves?
Maybe we should.
However, it is better said than done.
Sometimes, I think that parenting today is more complex than ever before. Maybe even a few years back, it was mostly about monitoring screen time. But now there are so many gadgets vying for attention that it’s not just about checking the amount of TV our kids are watching. There is so much more.
Studies show that the average age of a child in the US getting his/ her first cell phone is around 10 years. Schools too are becoming increasingly active in integrating technology into their teaching methods in order to create a more engaging learning experience. But what do we as parents do? And, is it even possible to raise our kids gadget-free?
I think the key lies in striking the right balance. Here are a few things to remind ourselves:
- A cell phone or an iPad is not a plaything and should not be treated as one. Let’s get out of the habit of bribing our kids with a few cell phone moments as we try to get some rest or to get something done.
- Let’s encourage our kids to play with toys and go outdoors. Let’s make good use of the parks.
- Let’s not give in to peer pressure. Believe it or not; it happens. Sometimes we just think it is okay to buy a tablet to our kids just because one of friends’ kid has it.
- Let’s understand that it is okay if our 4-year-old does not know how to operate a tab. Well, I have often seen people going gaga over how a little child can operate a tab. But honestly, that’s not something great. It’s just the touchscreen technology.
- Let’s give more time to kids, reading story books and playing with them.
Technology is great, but only until the time we know how to use it to our benefit. While shunning it completely is neither necessary nor possible, we can certainly draw the line. What do you think? Does any of these make sense? Let me know in the comment section below.
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