Being a parent is a rite of passage that brings innumerable changes to the way in which we think and act, and is an experience that no parent would, in their right mind, relinquish. From babe-in-arms to leaving the nest, parenthood is a hugely important and gratifying thing, but in today’s world of technological progress and advancing digitisation, many families are finding that their time together is being drowned out in a sea of apps, games and TV show chain watching.
This is a concern on all manner of levels. Why? Because children, as part of their development into adults, need to spend time with their families. Bond forming, for instance, allows children to develop emotionally, helping them enormously in their later-life relationships, allowing them to develop trust, empathy and all manner of other positive qualities. Spending time talking with children bestows upon them social skills that will help them succeed in life. Going on days out, playing games and enjoying all manner of activities with children improves their general knowledge, makes them more worldly and gives them perspective on the world around them.
Whilst many proponents of digitally-saturated lifestyles point to the positives of apps, social media and the like, none of these things should be thought of as being a replacement for the innate, natural bond between parent and child, a bond that is quietly being eroded by a backlit silence punctuating living rooms across the country. But how can we roll-back this disturbing trend?
Take, for example, the redecorating of your child’s room. You could let your kid dictate exactly what they want, then let them slink back in to their screens whilst you pop to the DIY shop, or you could take a more positive approach. If looking for a bunk bed on a site such as Bedstar, involve your child in the picking of the furniture. The same goes for colours, designs, beddings, pillows, and all of the other items that exist in the room. Make the activity fun and your child won’t feel that regressing back to their device is more exciting.
Putting a limit on the amount of ‘screen time’ that your household enjoys each day is a very easy and effective way to bring the parent-child balance out of kilter. Of course, given that homework and the like is very digitally-oriented nowadays, such things need to be taken in to account, but limiting the use of tech to a couple of hours a day will free up time for you and your children to enjoy together, instead of in isolation.
Parents and children need to spend time together to foster a healthy, happy family life. Don’t let technology take that away from you both.