It won’t be a misnomer to say that we are living in the age of digital devices. From the mobile phones, to the ‘smart’ TVs, ‘smart’ watches to ‘smart’ switches, we seem to be surrounded by ‘n’ number of ‘smart’ devices. Not only adults, but even kids seem to be addicted to these devices. Try weaning away your teenaged son from the latest mobile based game and you will understand what I am talking about. However, excess of anything is good for nothing. There are times when we need to mark a ‘digital boundary’. Know your boundaries, here are a few tips on how to know your digital boundaries.
Switch of your mobiles while sleeping:
We have got so addicted to our mobile phones that we just cannot seem to live without them. However, one way to gradually get over the mobile phone addiction is by encouraging everyone in the family to switch off their respective devices at least 4 hours before they sleep. Blue light from mobiles is known to disturb sleep. Switching off your mobile or at least keeping it away for a few hours before you hit the sack, is sure to help you sleep better.
Don’t check notifications:
While adults tend to constantly checking their emails and whatsapp messages, children also seem to have got addicted to constantly checking notifications every few minutes. Parents should lead by example. They should stop checking notifications and tell their kids too to not check.
Dinner time, no mobiles, TVs:
The family should try and make time for at least one meal together, preferably dinner, with no digital interference. This would encourage healthy face to face interaction between family members.
Real Sports time:
Children these days need to be dragged to grounds. Such is their addiction to digital devices. They would rather play ‘virtual’ games than try some real sports. This habit should be gradually changed. Every day there should be a time, when playing a sport is made compulsory for them. If possible parents too can participate. This would ensure better physical and mental health of the entire family.
One of the ways to wean away kids from the mobiles is to make them read books. Instead of trying to read out of their mobiles or kindles, they should be encouraged to read from print. It could be a magazine, comic, newspaper, story book, anything that is interesting to the kid. Fix a reading time to be followed daily. This way the kid would at least start reading.
Instead of constantly messaging, kids (even adults) need to be encouraged to talk to someone in person. There is nothing to beat actual talking when it comes to communication.
At The Camford School we are always trying to come out with innovative methods to help children reduce the unnecessary usage of digital devices. Our teachers are trained to put forward the message of Know your digital boundaries to the kids.