Kids nowadays spend more time around gadgets. How to deal with distractions and make more time for your kids?
Kids these days, I have noticed, are extremely restless and find it increasingly difficult to concentrate.
How To Deal with Distractions: What distracts them?
In an age where there are distractions aplenty for kids by way of i-pods, i-pads, video games, play stations, cell phones and social networking sites, to name just a few, can kids be blamed entirely for the way they do behave?
Kids spend most of the time on their hands (if they do have enough of it left after the endless assignments, projects and home work), in front of the television screen or playing video games. In fact, most toys meant for newborns also have light, music and sound.
With so many gadgets and toys to distract them, most kids suffer from this problem of being unable to concentrate on one single task at a time and sticking to it until they have finished it.
How To Deal with Distractions: Skills to promote
Stimulation at such an early age impairs the child’s abilities to think critically, imagine and to solve problems. Sadly enough, THESE are the skills that are the yardsticks of measuring a child’s scholastic aptitude at school.
As parent, we must make sure to promote these skills among our kids:
- Self reflection
- Problem solving
- Critical thinking
And to promote these skills, we need to spend quality time with our kids by switching off the television sets and turning off their laptops.
How To Deal with Distractions: Minimize the distractions
Here are a few simple kids which can help you improve your child’s span of concentration by minimizing the distractions:
- Set a daily maximum limit for watching television and make sure that this limit is not crossed. In fact, the American Academy of Pediatrics suggests that kids below two years of age should not be allowed to watch any television at all. Kids older than that may be allowed to watch it for a maximum of an hour every day.
- I have seen so many homes where the television MUST stay ON even if no one is watching it. Check yourself. If no one is watching the telly, switch it off when you walk past it or as soon as you notice that. If you find silence deafening, try playing some soothing music instead.
- Give your young ones lots of blocks, puzzles (according to his age) and other toys which will encourage him to think and improve his thinking ability. Simple games which require kids to stack toys, jigsaw puzzles and word games have been known to be beneficial.
- As far as possible, discourage toys which are too noisy, have too many lights and run on batteries.
- Balance the screen time of your child (time spent in front of the TV, computer, video games and cell phones) with non media activities. Make sure that for every one hour that he spends in front of the screen, he engages himself in at least 30 minutes of non media activities like playing outdoors, other indoor games, engaging in other arts and crafts or just being helpful around the home.
- Encourage them to practice meditation. That can dramatically improve your child’s concentration and help him focus on the task he is handling by shutting out all undesirable noises in the background.
- Be a good role model. Make sure your kids watch you when you sit quietly reading a book or listening to music.
Apart from taking these simple steps, you must accept that distractions are here to stay and there is little you can do to eliminate them altogether.
As long as the distractions do not come in the way of your child growing up to be a sensible, thinking individual and can channelize his energies positively when he needs to, you need not lose sleep over them!