A scene too similar with all during most mealtimes. This has always been a topic of discussion among most parents. Should we give IT gadgets access to children? If so, when? For how long? If not, would we be denying the children access to growth and interaction?
I cannot speak for others and I'm still seeking the best solution/s. Overtime, I have learnt to allow limited access. But in exchange I now have to spend more time with the children.
Be in Control
I don't leave them alone with their gadgets for more than 15 mins. Most times, I do my work and reading with them in the same room while they are on the gadgets. Their generation is different from us, therefore our ways of teaching and methods of parenting have to evolve.
Denying is not a solution I feel. In schools and at work, technology and emails are the ways to go. Teaching them the right ways to use the gadgets is our responsibilty.
Expose them to quality content. We talk and interact alot and I do the searching with them. In fact, these gadgets do help to engage the children in learning. Through the images and sound they become more involve and collaborate with me on a longer period of time.
Getting to know them
As much as I dread to spend time understanding and learning their interest, I have to. It's really the best way to get them to listen to you. They appreciate more when they see us trying to understand and speak their language. It then gets easier to ask them to put away the gadgets.
By the way, some terms I learn from Minecraft :))) :
1. Griefer - It is a destroyer that gloats over the grief he commited.
2. Butter Block - As in our knowledge aka gold bar
3. Ghast - As in our knowledge aka ghost
I am not very keen on my children becoming addicted to the computer games and I am guilty too of handing gadgets to them when I need some time on my own. I'm not all saint but I'm sharing some methods I adopt for those guilt times by sitting down with them after to read, play and interact.
In fact, by handing responsibilty of gadgets to them I have now committed myself to the children more. I have very limited time to myself (after revision time with the children everyday after school, rest times are dedicated to interacting with them too). I believe it's the best way to interact and watch over my children. Be involve and sharing our technolgies space:)
Positive Parenting is a lifelong journey. My platforms are open, do share with me your thoughts, your experience on parenting or anything about motherhood, fatherhood ... let this be a platform for all like minded people to learn, share our thoughts and experiences.