Electronic gadgets have almost completely replaced physical activity and outdoor play for kids. With parents also constantly glued on smartphones, the situation is aggravated, because they may influence their kids to adopt the same habit. And once kids become too occupied in a smartphone or any other electronic gadget, it will be difficult to take them away from it.
Of course, not all parents drive their kids to smartphone addiction, but the potential of it happening remains if you already taught your kid how to use the device. They may end up liking a particular game so much that they’ll try to reach for your phone every time. That could be the first sign of impending smartphone addiction.
For that reason, it is highly important to teach your kid when it is okay to use a smartphone and when it’s not. Setting rules will benefit your child’s well-being and will also protect your gadget from potentially breaking because of their mishandling. Even though cellphone repairs services in Salt Lake City and other areas are efficient and affordable, preventing gadget damage in the first place is still more favorable.
How to Set Rules for Children
1. Make Kids Understand That a Phone isn’t a Toy
Tell your kids that just because games can be played on a smartphone means that it’s also a toy. Educate them on the device’s real purpose, which is to make communication easier. Teach your kids how to use a smartphone ethically, focusing on the technicalities so that they’d understand that the device is essential for grown-ups.
2. Set Usage Limits
There are certain apps that can help you track your smartphone usage. They’ll make you determine the times of the day when you tend to reach out for your phone the most — or in this case, when your kid plays with your phone the most.
Before setting limits, recognize the triggers that make your kid reach out for your phone. If it’s boredom, find healthier activities for them, such as outdoor play, cooking (with your supervision), arts, and journal-writing. These activities might be enough to keep them away from your smartphone.
Afterwards, start setting limits, so that when they ask for your phone again, they’ll be aware that they’re going to be monitored more closely from now on. Set restrictions on the apps they can download, people they can call or chat with, and how long can they use your phone in general. Set consequences as well for noncompliance.
3. Help Them Learn Things Without Videos
Even if tutorial videos can be educational, they can also make children find reading and writing difficult, because they’ve been accustomed to learning through videos. Watching too many videos also contributes to their impending smartphone addiction, so offer to teach them yourself when they ask how to perform a certain task.
4. Engage Them in Activity-Based Learning
If you’re wondering how to get them eager to learn without videos, indulge them in activity-based learning. Give them tasks that challenge them every time they engage in it. You don’t necessarily have to buy them new toys; just look for activity kits that are proven beneficial for a child’s learning.
5. Keep Your Phone Out of Their Reach
If you’re really determined to stop them from using your smartphone altogether, just be sure that it stays out of their reach all the times. When you keep it on a high place, like a table, put it where your kid cannot see it, or else, they might still try to reach for it, which may put your phone at risk of falling and breaking because of their weak grasps.
But most importantly, don’t just set these rules and expect them to comply immediately. Be an example for them, too. Avoid using your phone when you bond with them, and only then will your kids learn to appreciate unplugged activities more.