Smartphone is increasingly becoming a centre point of our lives and it seems impossible to spend even a single day without it. From bill payments, checking emails, playing games to connecting on friends, family and well-wishers on phone or social media, the convenience, speed, visuals – all make smartphones irresistible. It is not surprising that kids – especially teenagers are finding it difficult to resist smartphones and are constantly glued to it. They record voice messages, share gifs, write comments, post videos and pictures to their network of friends and get an instant high. (Also read: Excessive use of smartphone can lead to headache; here are expert tips for relief)
Children who are addicted to smartphone tend to lose interest in other fun activities like drawing, painting, playing board games, reading and other engaging activities that also simultaneously work on memory, concentration, beating stress levels among other benefits. While it’s difficult to convince kids how smartphone could be wreaking havoc with their physical and mental health, as parents it’s important to help children find a balance and engage in activities that promote their well-being and reduce smartphone dependency.
“In today’s digital age, it is crucial for parents to guide their children towards alternative activities that foster healthy habits. By providing engaging and diverse experiences such as outdoor sports, creative pursuits, reading, outdoor adventures, and volunteering, we can redirect their attention away from smartphones and help them develop healthier relationships with technology. It is our responsibility to create a balance that allows children to explore the world beyond screens, nurture their talents, and foster meaningful connections with the real world. By doing so, we can empower our children to lead fulfilling lives and embrace the limitless opportunities that await them,” says Pankaj Kumar Singh, MD of Cambridge Montessori Preschool and Daycare.
Pankaj Kumar Singh shares five interesting activities that can help your child get over smartphone addiction.
Physical activity and outdoor sports encourage physical fitness while also giving people a much-needed respite from screens. Encourage your youngster to try out individual sports like swimming, cycling, or martial arts as well as team sports like soccer, basketball, or tennis. These activities provide social connection, cooperation, and a sense of success in addition to helping decrease smartphone use.
Nature provides a wealth of opportunities for exploration and adventure. Encourage your child to engage in outdoor activities such as hiking, camping, gardening, or birdwatching. These activities not only help children appreciate the beauty of the natural world but also provide a break from screens and encourage physical activity. Engaging with nature can boost their cognitive abilities, reduce stress, and enhance their overall well-being.
Reading is a great way to get away from technology and into your imagination. Your child will grow to appreciate reading if you expose them to a variety of book genres. Set up a dedicated reading period so that you and your kid may discuss and appreciate a book together. To develop a feeling of community and allow them to share their reading experiences with others, persuade them to join their neighbourhood library or join book clubs.
Encourage your child to pursue creative endeavours such as writing, playing an instrument, or painting as hobbies. In addition to stimulating the intellect, engaging in creative activities also promotes focus, problem-solving abilities, and self-expression. To further develop their abilities and interest, encourage your youngster to enrol in art courses, music lessons, or writing workshops.
Children must be taught empathy and compassion from an early age. Encourage your youngster to take part in community service initiatives or volunteer work. Children get a wider perspective, empathy, and a sense of duty when they do acts of kindness and give back to society. Organising donation drives, lending a hand at neighbourhood shelters, or taking part in neighbourhood cleanup initiatives are all examples of volunteering. These encounters not only lessen reliance on smartphones but also foster a feeling of purpose and altruism.