Breaking Screen Addiction
Expert session Questions and Answers
For 3 yr old, self regulation is too tough. Not a valid expectation. They will be curious about everything. Garima Gupta – Breaking Screen Addiction question suggests that if you hide something from them, or only grown ups get to play with a certain toy (because the whole world is a toy for them) then they will be even more curious.
So you have to make sure they have a wide range of fun activities to choose from. And let the mobile or other screen be just one of the many options available to them.
A lot of psychoeducation is needed. Schools too are spending time talking to kids about cyber bullying etc. So we must reinforce this message. We must show them that there are lots of troubles that these gadgets can get them into. And by limiting the use, they are simply staying away from all the trouble.Then ask them the behaviour of their classmates. And give them the right attitude towards devices. Do you feel new age phones are super cool? Then your kid will want to be cool by owning gadgets.Build their self esteem based on what they do, not what they own.Ask them what attracts them to screens? Gently shape their approach. Talk talk talk !
Excellent point. Are we taking the responsibility of entertaining our kids? Is this something we want them to learn? NO!! We have to make our kid responsible for his/ her own health, wellbeing & growth. So it is not our job to do the hula dance for them every time they are bored. But we can help them have a list of things to do instead. So rather than just having no parking boards, let us show them where to park.Get it? Depending on the age of the child, make a list or have them draw things they love to do. When they come home from school, let them put their favourite activities into a sort of time table. Call it appointments even they love “grown up” words like this. Then screen will be just one of the things they do daily.Ultimately, remind them gently every day that you have been working on your own health, joy growth. The child has to work on theirs. You can only be a support. They are in charge.
At around 4-5 yrs of age self regulations can begin. Varies for children. Delayed gratification must be taught. “I will help you after 5 mins & this is the way to tell how many minutes are left (show watch or clock)” is a way to develop this.
16 yr old having Insta account is about par for the course in the urban India of today. The question is (1) how much time is spent on it. (2) what other sources of juice (mental) does the child have. Insta/ social media should not be the only source of kicks. Put him in contact sports of his choice/ vigorous physical activity which releases Endorphins. Let him meet people in person to develop social skills.People with good social skills can stay away from social media and interact with real life people gaming is another very tricky realm. Again a lot of dopamine plus a lot of frustration is created. First, ask your child if he has goals that he is working on? Or help him verbalise some skill etc he would like to build. Next, check on his plan about how he wishes to work on it. Establish a goal ladder with him.Steps to do to reach ultimate goal.then, ask if his gaming is somehow creating a stumbling block to his achieving his goals. Help him make a plan to self regulate how much gaming he does and when.offer your support to remind him when he exceeds his quota.ask him about his current stresses.
Help him deal with his stress so he does not need the distraction of gaming. Add physically challenging items to his routine- wall climbing/ scuba lessons (we have in swimming pools in pune)/ cycling on hillsides etc. these will give thrills minus the problems of screen time.
Screen is not the villain. When we mis-handle technology then there is trouble. Overdoing things. Any activity in which child is not active, any passive entertainment will make them hyper at the end of it. That is why the rule to mix it up with physical activity.
Not mixed, inter-mixed. Means, after 20 mins of rhymes on Ipad, let them dance for 20 mins. Burn off the extra energy!
- Always discuss with them what they will do next after their scheduled screen time.
- Keep it outside for them to see all the time. eg, if it is colouring then their colours and art book should be visible while they watch screen.
- If watching tv, all ads should be muted as a rule. they have to have some blocks or something next to them to play with while ads are playing.
- When they get fussy after a prolonged screen time, help them notice this. gently say: see how you feel grumpy if you have watched too long? how about we watch 5 mins less tomorrow and see if we feel better at the end of it. natural consequences.
- Always have a long list of things they love to do handy. Let them have a schedule for that day where they do various things
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Garima Gupta – Breaking Screen Addiction
Garima Gupta – Breaking Screen AddictionShe is a psychologist and happiness coach by profession, Garima Gupta is a parenting expert. She has been coaching clients for 12 years based on holistic techniques including mindfulness, Tapping technique, Presence oriented Psychotherapy, Shadow- to- gold, etc.
Brief About Garima Gupta
Garima Gupta holds special expertise in psychology related to kids and teens as well as the role of mind and physical health. Award winner, she has written several books, one of them being the 2019 International Book Award in Health. She is a Parenting Expert on Momspresso- India’s largest parenting portal. Garima Gupta is a permanent member of Indian psychiatric society as well as New Zealand Association of Positive Psychology. She has received the 2018 Orange Flower Award Finalist by Women’s Web and the 2018 Readers’ Favourite 5 star among others.
Garima Gupta – Breaking Screen Addiction is the topic where she will be answering growing concern and questions from the parents.