Unplug to Connect

Gone are the days when we longed for trivial technology and wanted to get our hands on the newest gadget for the house, or the kids. Now, with the pandemic and the world being homebound, the dinner plate eyes don’t budge from the screen! Continuous hours on the laptop is draining and a vice.

However, a few parents have shared some winsome ways to detox with your child:

  1. Start a creative project: A mood board on their favorite book character or a DIY jigsaw puzzle with playing cards is a great way to include creativity and consistency in their day. Making magazine collages or a scrapbook are easy too, and don’t take up too much time. So you can sit cross-legged on the rug with your child and cut out pictures with them!
  2. Make use of their leisurely screen time: Ask them about some of the new fads and trends they’ve come across. Who are their favorite creators, and why? Children pick up on the most interesting things, and spotlighting this way will encourage them to further retain what they see, and for you to gain some insight on their exposure.
  3.  The center point of fitness: Physical activity! A cool way to engage your child in sport without risk-exposure and too much of your time is purchasing a trampoline, a pogo stick, or a basketball hoop. So many games can be invented around these toys, and jumping around would add a goofy detox to your day, just as much as theirs! It’s a good method to channelize all that energy, and revive those muscles after being seated in front of a laptop all day.
  4. Something capricious: Get a pet! Adopting a little puppy or a kitten (less hassle!) changes the way you see life.
    A cute addition to the house peppers the day with laughter and joy. Your child learns to nurture, as well as
    make a best friend in quarantine- and so much of their time is spent off their phone and cuddling their furry friend. Turtles, bunnies and guinea pigs are convenient companions too!
  5. Introduce the concept of a merit board: Lastly, harnessing the power of incentives. For every spontaneous or creative task they do without a gadget, they get a sticker or stamp on the merit board. Once that fills up, they get a reward! Anything from a pretty artwork and a Lego house to writing a short story or bak ing cookies; your child will be excited to learn a new skill and show you. An added advantage is that he/she might spend their trivial screen time now learning new skills and exploring, rather than watching a YouTube video.

These tricks and tips have worked for some parents and are happy with the balance it has brought about.
“Independent projects are great! It takes a day of shopping for stationery and poster board and it’s so nice to see my child connecting with her talents. She doesn’t even need a reminder anymore,” quips Nimisha Patel, mother of a 10-year-old. Ultimately, detoxing and getting away from the clasp of the screen is a reminder we have to give ourselves.

The addition of engaging activities takes away the burden of eliminating one of them! A few parents have weighed in on their experiences with Leslie Velez says her 7-year-old familiarized herself well with the detox, because she set a strong example herself! While talking about the internet trends or scrapbooking, it’s important that nobody around grabs a phone either. The detox doesn’t have to be punishment! Bhavya Kalsi feels that the dogs at home are a  elight, “Especially in the current situation, it’s been hard on the kids to not be able to see their friends as much. The furry
companions are a constant reminder that we’re not so lonely, and there’s no chance to drift to a screen when you’re running around with them outside.” A little bit goes a long way, especially for parents with demanding schedules. Try
some of these approaches at home and experiment with the interests of your child. Watch as you welcome a rewarding experience for the whole family, especially in these uncertain times.