posted on May 06 2019
One of the most talked about topics is how to get children away from screens. When you walk down a main street we see people, both adults and children, looking down at their phone screens and being completely unaware of what is happening around them. When waking up in the morning, 65% of adults under the age of 34 reach for their phone upon waking up, according to A decade of Digital Dependency. Even at a restaurant, you notice most people engaged with their phones or tablets rather than enjoying interactions with each other. Communication has definitely changed and we have become dependent on technology.
It is easy to understand, phones are life’s most thorough encyclopedia, constantly updating. Do you ever regret the time that you just spent scrolling? While it’s engaging a part of us, it’s also manipulating us to think it’s more important than anything else going around. Phones and software has been purposefully been designed to addict us.
Luckily some technologists are waking up to this and likening it to the impact of the cigarette industry in the 1930s professed to be good for us but in the end was carcinogenic. Check out the amazing people at Humane Tech and help in any way you can to reverse what they call human downgrading.
Did you know, according to ofcom, 79% of children aged 5-7 are online form 9 hours a week?! Sure we can’t deny the lure of screens as pacifiers, there are times when we need to keep our children quiet and a screen works really well. But we did manage without them, remember when we were kids?
So at Little Citizens we think it’s up to us parents to work hard to creatively solve our parenting conundrums and promote connection. The rewards are immense. Just challenge yourself to deal with a tantrum without screens, it’s likely that a few minutes after the worst of it, kids will discover something that sparks interest in them. I love seeing my daughter go from whining, I am booooorrrreeeed, to weeee this is so fun.
We need to help spark our children’s imagination, it’s not just for the sake of fun but also super important for their development as we help promote communication, develop social skills and learning through play.
Parenting isn’t easy, but if we carve out time we can help our children learn through discussions, projects, drawing pictures, creating art, climbing, dancing and playing sports.
Below a few good ideas available at Little Citizens to get you offline and having fun en famille:
1. Make something together— Instead of getting on Youtube, learn something new like how to weave with wool using our dynamic Weaving with Wool set by Dejco
2. Cuddle up and share your day— Screens before bedtime lead to disrupted sleep, so why not disconnect from the screen and reconnect with your child and help them sleep well by reading a book together or cuddling with a cute Coin Coin Comete Duck
3. Build a tower— Drop the device, enjoy some play time and engage your child’s imagination at the same time by building a fort with our Noook Get Creative Kit
4. Cook something together— Spark some creativity in the kitchen, get baking using our Moulin Roty I am Baking Set
So create some new memories with some of our play ideas. Your child will remember these moments for ever.
We’re not saying the balance is easy because it’s not but an honest conversation with ourselves and each other is a great first step. Young Minds have released a series of strategies to help begin the conversation. Tell us how the screen challenges or helps you at home, have you come up with a system that works for you? We would love to hear from you. So please share with us in the comment section below.