These days, most women I know are working mothers. And out of the many, I have yet to find even one who has not been faced with challenges in raising a child in this time and age; yes, this information and technology age.
As a full time working mother myself, I know that this time and age is one where the mother will be torn between wanting to remain as conservative as possible yet wanting as much of (good) exposure for their child as they could possibly give.
But unfortunately for many, now is not the time and age where mothers can come back home at 4.15 p.m. sharp. Many mothers work late into the night that sometimes it feels as though they don’t even come back home at all. So, when we finally do get home, the last thing we want to do is to put up a fight with our children over who gets to watch the TV, or if they should watch any TV at all and that’s when we inevitably… relent.
Question is, should we?
In a lot of ways, I’m more old-school than most of the mothers I know because of my opinions where gadgets and television are concerned. No matter what most people tend to think nowadays, I do still believe that a child’s place is in the playground, not glued to the television or tabs or iPads. At least not all the time that is. It’s a tough principle I have set for myself, but so far, I have managed to follow through and here’s how. Perhaps with these what are deemed “old school” methods, you too can find a way to reduce the time your children spent on gadgets and/or television.
1. Don’t offer
I find it that we create most of the problems revolving our children. If only you never offered the TV, they would not have known how to ask! So, when you get home, as tempting as it is to switch the TV on to distract your children so that you can get the rest of the housework done, don’t do it. If your child is already used to having the TV being switched on the moment you step into the house, this may pose a little bit of a problem but trust me, when children are bored, they will find other things to do. Just be sure to put anything dangerous out of the way! Oh, and the same applies to tabs and gadgets at mealtimes. They’re out of bounds in my household! If you feel your children do not listen to you, try the extreme by pulling off the cord of the TV from the power point. This way, they know there is no way the TV can be switched.
2. Switch the TV on
Now, this is where it gets kind of confusing, right? Didn’t I just say to not offer them the TV? Well, yes I did, but let’s face the fact that we don’t live in an ideal world.As much as I hate to rely on the TV to “babysit” my kid, some days it’s hard not to just let it do its “job”. So, on the tougher days, I switch the TV on, and I choose something appropriate for him to watch.If I have nothing pressing to do, I will sit with him throughout the TV session and sing and dance along with him. It’s amazing the things we learn from these sessions and it’s also good exercise, mind you! So try to use the TV as something to help you, rather than something you rely on just so you can catch a break.
3. Look up
The apple doesn’t fall too far from the tree. If you’re forever glued to your smartphone screen and the TV, you pretty much have to expect the same from your child. Seriously, look up and look at your children. Technology evolves and so does your child. They’ll only be 2 years old once.
Bring your child to the playground or plan his playtime well at home. Now, this is the tricky bit because this should have been the main solution, not the alternative. But as I said earlier, I am a working mother who gets home earliest at 6.30 p.m. daily, so I can understand when another mother doesn’t consider this as the main solution. But, this alternative has been tried and tested by me. When I bring my child to the playground, he gets to let go of all his pent up energy, which makes him less restless. And because he is tired, his appetite improves and that means he will wallop his dinner without much coaxing. And we all know that children who eat well sleep well (at least most of the time), so please do try this alternative if you can!
Now, if you’re worried about your children not getting exposure by practicing some aversion towards technology, always remember that we all grew up in a time and age where smart TVs and smartphones were non-existent and yet here we are today, tech-savvy as ever! There’s lots of time for our children to learn and in time, they will, when the time and place is right.
So pause the gadget and let your child play!
Haneesa grew up thinking she would one day become a writer. Instead, she read Law, got married and is now a mom of one. She’s currently a FTWM who constantly strives for what’s best (at least in her books), and she also believes that there’s time and energy for everything, if you put your mind to it.
Read on more of her adventures in her sweet and laid-back blog, Chocolate Dipped Secret.