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Gone are the days when we were fighting over the TV remote control for the one screen in the house. Now, each of us has a phone device that we use for work as well as for personal communication and entertainment. While these screens offer a lot of benefits like ease of access, knowledge, connectivity, and entertainment, they take away some crucial things from us, like time for genuine connection, being idle, and more.
In your parenting journey, screens can be both your friend and your enemy. On one hand, they can keep your kids entertained when you are busy. At the same time, you may also end up watching the phone screen often, which will end up being a distraction while you are spending time with your kids. This presents a good opportunity to understand mindful parenting. In the digital age, it can help you balance technology with having a genuine human connection with your children.
Mindful parenting is putting effort into being present with your child when you are interacting with them. It involves finding ways to have a relationship that uplifts both the parent and the child, be it by listening, choosing creative ways to respond, or setting boundaries.
How many times have you seen a parent sitting with a child with their head buried in their phone? How many times have you realised that your child has been talking to you for 5 minutes and you have no idea what they said because you were busy on your phone? Mindful parenting is a practice where, every time you catch yourself doing something like this, you consciously bring your awareness back to your child. Remember that they will grow up before you realise it, and you can’t have these moments again later.
Mindful parenting is not just for you to bond with your child or make memories. It will also ensure that your kid grows up feeling heard, emotionally supported, and well-loved. The lack of it, on the other hand, might lead to isolation, insecurity, and acting out to seek attention. In the long term, this can affect their overall well-being and yours.
Saying a complete no to technology is simply not practical in the digital age. It is essential for the next generation to be technology-savvy to make a place for themselves. Technology has become the platform for educational opportunities and the access point for information.
With mindful parenting, the goal is not to remove technology from you or your child. But it is to understand how the technology is being used, set healthy limits, and find time for no-tech quality time to bond.
To set healthy boundaries, understanding the impact of screens on childhood development is key. While limited usage of screens for education and entertainment, like video games, can be beneficial, there are many risks associated with too much screen time. Excessive screen time can negatively affect executive function, language development, and academic performance in later years. It can also lead to problems like obesity, sleep disturbances, aggression, anxiety, and emotional incompetence. There is also the challenge of monitoring the content that your child is exposed to online.
Things you can do to strike a balance with Mindful parenting:
Model mindful behaviour: Kids learn from your actions more than your words. By demonstrating healthy screen habits, being fully present, and attempting to have quality time, you can shape your child's attitude towards technology.
Avoid using your phone as a distraction tool: Giving something to watch to make children quiet when they are crying or throwing a tantrum might feel like an easy and immediate fix, but it's harmful in the long run. Consider alternative approaches, such as engaging them in creative activities, playing together, or offering comforting communication to address their needs.
Find creative ways to spend quality time: Instead of trying to reduce screen time, take the approach of increasing screen-free quality time. You can do this by having outdoor play time, involving your child in everyday activities like cooking and cleaning, or learning something with them like an instrument.
In conclusion, mindful parenting stands as an essential pillar in the digital age, offering a compass to navigate the complexities of technology while fostering authentic connections with our children. Striking a delicate balance between screen time and genuine human interaction is imperative for the holistic well-being of the family.
ekincare emerges as a practical ally, providing concrete tools and incentives through the innovative H-points system. With family challenges like shared meals and screen time restrictions, it provides a hands-on approach to encourage meaningful connections within the family. This solution not only promotes healthy habits but also transforms theoretical ideals into tangible actions, actively encouraging families to embrace mindful parenting practices.
By modeling mindful behavior, avoiding the use of screens as distractions, and creatively enhancing screen-free quality time, parents can create a nurturing environment. Through the detailed and hands-on approach of ekincare, families can actively participate in activities that contribute to a wholesome lifestyle, rewriting the narrative of parenting in the digital era and allowing both parents and children to thrive.
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