Technological heights and the fast paced world is making life nothing less than a machine. Hectic schedules and tough routines are becoming tough to handle as the working population has duties to fulfil back home. The major population being hit by this tremor are parents of toddlers and teens. A parent gets home from work just as a new email “dings” on his or her phone. And there comes loud noise from your toddler’s room as the big brother is not sharing, and she would really like to show off her new barbie collection. There are a number of notes available in the internet space that talks about kids and their screen time. Screen time beyond a certain limit is extremely harmful to kids.
What about the screen time of parents and its effects on the family? Well, here a new term will be coined, “plugged in parents”. The term is pointing at a direction where parents are glued to their laptops and gadgets for longer periods beyond workplace at home. As smartphones and tablets blur lines between work, home and social lives, parents are grappling to balance it all. Spending such time will end up in multitasking at home including parenting. Kids grow up fast and need undivided attention. Plugged in parenting will slim the chances of that undivided attention. Thinking of a few reasons of such parenting could be:
- Excessive work pressure.
- Working extra hours out of choice to earn extra money
- A developed addiction to social media
- Escape route from daily chores
- In need of more fun outside the family
The reasons do not demand that parents should be always glued to their children. Making children independent is also a crucial development. The requirement here is the “balance” between the two. Not letting the plugging time effect kids should be the motto.
Now, let’s see the possible effects of such parenting:
- Sluggish Brain: Toddlers will benefit a “zero” out of screen time. At this age, conversations with the people around will help more than the virtual one. The brain will get programmed to get used to a device as parents do not have much to share.
- Bad Habits: Plugged in parents will have no time to look into the tiny habits that developing or have developed. There is a 100% chance of that habit being bad. Table manners, behaviour with fellow mates and respecting elders, all of these might have a major effect.
- Language Issues: When plugged in parents have so less time; then how toddler’s will have a grip on the language they speak. Speech delays can hamper future brain development and cognitive health.Problems can be many and most of it will be hidden. The situation is grave and needs immediate attention. Below are a few hacks that might help!
- Limit your plugging in: Set a routine and schedule for your screen time instead of your toddler. Yes! You have to work more at times to justify the job outside. A strict time and routine will be of great help.
- Make Your Child as a Stress buster: Why login to a social site beyond time to bust the stress? Instead, make time for your child and play some innovative games. Talk to your toddler and try to understand his inner world deeply.
- Make Rules for both: Bring in some strict disciplinary rules into the family. Both you and your partner along with the kids should follow the same. Strict screen time, no TV after dinner etc. are some examples.
- Indulge Yourself: Make time and play along with your toddler. Constructive games will help your kid develop stronger cognitive and communication skills.
Plugging in for long is only going to damage things at your end. Save your family from this nuisance at the right time. A brighter kid is always due to a parent who spends maximum time in developing the kid.