Technological innovations are increasingly defining our behavioral decisions across the globe. Media too has become such an augmented force; the raison d'être connecting the world at large. Internet-enabled computers, laptops, tablets and cellphones are functioning as agents of influence in the modern consumer market. Technology, as a tool, is being aptly used by marketers to woo children; resulting in the phenomenal spurt in TV addiction affecting kids. Internet and popular media have overtly assumed the role of thought leaders indoctrinating human minds with ideas on an unprecedented scale.
Let us now make a foray into Generation Y world. This is the first generation to have grown with the internet. Technological dependency, overstimulation and getting easily bored are typical behavioural age indicators. This generation has the propensity to break rules to explore new modus operandi of learning. Millennials remain goal oriented, feel empowered and are extremely independent in their thoughts and feelings. Over the past few years, millennial habits and idiosyncrasies have been studied. Based on behavioural indicators, here are five essential resolutions to control distractions that have become so common today. Parents take note, these resolutions could help your family sit as one at the dining table during dinner time! A word to the children - when you follow these easy steps; you become responsible and successful in your endeavors.
Virtual versus Real time
The first resolution? Of course, make sure that your kids are not spending 24x7 online! Don’t let them go out of your hand; in effect put down your foot once in a while. And how do you do that? Make them understand, don’t force your thoughts down their throat. Accept facts; kids these days rarely listen to their parents. When we use force, kids become susceptible to anger and sometimes emotive. Proven fact is that parents find Gen Y kids challenging. The only way you make them understand the facts is that you understand them ourselves. We know for sure that every individual is unique. Accept change; know for sure command and control simply doesn’t help. Sit down, roll up your sleeves; have a talk and if needed, partner thoughts with your better half. Each consensus will build trust and credibility. Tell the little ones the things that mattered to you the most as kids. Stories of soccer or baseball matches you won or lost. Catch the children young, goes right with the old adage: ‘You cannot teach an old dog new tricks.’ Drive home the point that online games don’t stand a chance when compared to the real thing.
Create time zones
“Old habits die hard.” Good habits stay with us for long. The tenets of time management can be of great help. A morning walk with your child, keeping a pet at home and more importantly making time for your family to be together at the dining table. Let your children tell you about their experiences at school, on the playground and about their interactions with their peers. Schedule time for serious reading, study hours; frolic time to go out and play in the open; all this will go a long way in reducing dependency syndrome on electronic gadgets. Lead by example; be role models; stop clinging to your cell phones and cyber networks as panacea day in and day out. A time for everything teaches discipline. Discipline helps to develop character and aids decision making.
Collaborate and Empower kids: make them your mentors
As your kids grow, technology will pervade their lives. Allow the kids to be your teachers. Let them tell you what games they have heard of and of what videos they found online. Make a list of videos you and your child find interesting. Children also love to play the role of a teacher. As parents, our strategy is to be an active listener and connect, communicate and collaborate with our children to create the desired fun filled learning experience. The what and how of technology can be learnt, unlearnt and relearnt. The technological world today is fast changing every moment; innovations govern our existence. The bottom line is simple; learn the quintessence of the latest technology and always be updated to survive and gain acceptability by the NextGen.
Early childhood: Say NO to Technology
Research reveals parents love to gift their young ones the latest technological devices. No wonder we find a toddler toying with an ‘iPhone’, and dance to the beats of music played on electronic modes of communication. We have three year olds in possession of numerous electronic gadgets; the numbers keep growing. Video games and its addiction are well known. We know the risks and the hazards but parents give way to their impulses for sporadic buying. Wait till your child reaches a certain age and then gift them technology. The choice is simple; bringing home technology or its substitution: spending quality time with children. Our lifestyle and purchase decisions are often dictated by the media and its assorted means of communication. The result is that we create unknowingly the seeds of ‘instant gratification’ in our little one’s minds. Try not to make homes the storehouse of electronic gadgets!.
Inculcate the Habit of reading
Books are a storehouse of wisdom. Introduce your child to the world of books at a very early age. Do not always buy books online. Accompany your children to bookstores and buy books for them. When your kid grows a bit older allow them the freedom to purchase books of their choice. Help them read good books; challenge them, set targets and achieve results. The love for the printed words is a magic of creation. Let your child discover new lands and new thoughts and later the same can be augmented through visual impact. Kick start joint reading sessions with your children. You can read aloud two paragraphs from a book and prevail upon your kid to read a paragraph. These sessions will create the desired bond of love and understanding and enforce a deep rooted involvement. A teenager has the choice of seeing a Harry Potter movie or read the book. Help the young to read; and develop a love and passion for the printed world. And of course, say a big time NO to the Kindle at an early age!