I don’t know about any other mom out there, but I never, and I mean Never leave my house without my cellphone, my kid’s kindle, the mini iPad, and a backup charger. Sounds extreme? It might be, but what I do know, is that I have to go to a doctor’s appointment, and to the grocery store, and my kid is not going to “I’m bored mom” me to death. I often wonder how my mom managed to keep me and my siblings quiet, and occupied while running errands, and even just trying to clean up around the house, and then I realize we also got spankings! But seriously, with so much technology available to us, children can learn and play at the same time. There are so many different learning apps available that I don’t feel guilty for allowing my daughter to spend time on her electronics. I do also know that we should allow time away from them.
Balancing when your child uses electronics will allow for more time spent together and also helps your children to be more creative about what to do with their “bored time”. Here are some tips for the Millennial Mom:
Designate times for Electronics:
In my house, during dinner is one of the times that no electronics are allowed, including my cell phone. We eat, and talk about our day, and just focus on one another. Also during the week, time on electronic devices is monitored. Have a posted schedule with times, so that your children are aware. It will also establish discipline.
A great time to use electronics is after chores/homework are completed. Device usage can then be used as a reward for successfully completing each task.
Sometimes too much digital time can cause your child, and even you to become anti-social, and introverted. To avoid this, find out what your child’s interests are outside of their gaming devices, and make activities centered on that. Research different activities locally that you can get your child signed up for. Group team activities will allow for them to interact with other children, and learn to work with others to accomplish a goal. This too will give the same satisfaction as winning a game on their gaming device.
At home activities are also a great way to kill the boredom virus. Cooking/baking, or creating a garden are fun activities that you and your child can do together.
For days when you have to leave the house, sometimes opt for coloring books, and silent toys. Older children may prefer reading books.
Be an Example:
Step away from the phone slowly. We as parents cannot expect for our children to be responsible with monitoring the time on their devices, if we are logged onto Facebook/Instagram for 7 hours straight! Practice being aware of time spent on your devices, and make it a point to limit it.
In today’s digital world we sometimes forget about the simplicity of taking a walk, or going to the park. With our children growing so fast, you don’t want to miss out on spending quality time with them. Make it a point to set aside personal time with your children, I’m not saying do away with electronics, because let’s face it, that’s not happening! But what am I saying is, balance the time spent, and watch how your relationship with your child evolves for doing so because time is something we can’t get back.