Being a parent is a wonderful experience but it can also be quite demanding. Sometimes the temptation to take a break can lead us to fall into a well-familiar 'Parent trap'. The trap where we let our kids watch the television or use electronic gadgets to have a moment of peace and quiet. While there are benefits to allowing kids to use learning applications on phone or viewing academic content on television, the lack of moderation can have severe consequences for both the child and the parent-child relationship.
Addiction to gaming or watching television compulsively has risen dramatically over the years for children under the age of 12 years. Repeated use of gadgets creates an expectation on the parent to allow for the child to continue using devices, which if denied can lead the child to show aggression towards their parents. A cycle of parent-child relationship breakdown thus begins with the child wanting more TV/gaming time. This in turn causes the parents to enforce stricter punishments which reinforces bad behaviour on part of the child.
Use of devices for too long effects sleep, speech, studies and meal timings of children causing both physical and mental harm. Doctors warn against watching TV and other devices during meals as this may cause severe indigestion, eyesight degradation because of strain, muscular pain caused by sitting in a rigid posture, and obesity caused by lack of physical activity.
Instead Parents should sit with the child and make a time table for how much and what the child should be doing while engaging with electronic devices. If cartoon films interest him/her, buy them books of their favourite cartoon characters and encourage them to sketch/color such books. Further, motivate or join children as they play outdoors. Select some quiet activities like meditation, story telling, reading over TV viewing which are relaxing and enjoyable for both the parent and child. Lead your child to creative avenues and then take the walk along with them.
Remember to be wise and next time, don't get caught in the 'Parent Trap'.
Reena Singh, Team The Sixth Element
@ Tata Primanti and South City 1 campuses.