How to stop children from playing with gadgets


Parenting is more difficult today than it ever was. There are so many challenges, and added to that is technology. Children today spend more time indoors with gadgets than outdoors, playing. This is a dilemma of practically every parent. How do parents keep their children away from gadgets?

Mobile phones, video games, television and the internet, these are the new age addictions that many parents have to deal with. Even toddlers, who can barely speak are addicted to mobile phones. It is an epidemic and it needs to be stopped.

So, why do children get addicted to electronic gadgets? Are parents today being over indulgent? Does this trend have to do with a new generation? Is it true that children today are tech savvy and therefore more likely to be hooked onto gadgets? Well, there are many theories as to why this is happening, but I find none of them convincing.



My take on this is simple. Children should do what children have done down the ages – run and play, get some sun, read, explore, create, think and just act their age! In short, their time with gadgets should be strictly regulated.

Fortunately, I have come across many parents who think on the same lines as I do. They want their kids to be off gadgets but do not how to make them do it. If you find yourself in the same cauldron as them, then this article might just be what the doctor ordered.

Your role as a parent


The first rule that you must know is that you are a parent, and you are in charge. You make the rules, you set the limits, you decide. You must let your kids take decisions, but only within limits. There has to be a boundary set because what you allow your children to do has an impact on their lives.

Should you intervene and set the rules about the use of electronic gadgets? Well, yes, you must.

Parenting is about challenges


Parenting is not easy, and you realise this every step of the way. Your kids throw new challenges at you and this current one is the latest in line. Let's face it gadgets offer hours of entertainment, games are action packed, and completing each level gives the kids an adrenaline rush and a boost to their egos. All this makes these gadgets highly addictive. You sure have a tough task ahead, of getting your kids of the virtual world, and be part of the real one. Be prepared for complaints, tantrums and sulking faces. Your kids aren't going to relent easily, prove that you are made of sterner stuff, and don't relent either.

Here are some suggestions to get your children off the gadget addiction –

Lead by example


It is easy to implement rules if they are applicable to you as well. Put aside your laptop, the mobile, the television remote for a few hours each day. Spend that time with your kids. Engage in activities that bring your family closer. There are a number of fun activities that you can do together as a family. Explore ideas and think of all the wonderful things you did as a kid, and introduce your kids to the same. Alternatively, you can get them started on a hobby. Try new ways to distract them into doing different things, but keep the stuff fun.

You'll be surprised to find your kids opening up to you. Gadgets, on the other hand, kill communication. Everyone just sits around doing their own thing. While real life activities encourage participation.

Introduce new elements


If the kids are going to be cooped up at home they will be drawn towards the television and other gadgets. Get them out of the house. Get them to join a martial arts class or a music class. Anything that doesn't involve the use of gadgets. There are so many skills that your children can master – just show them the way.

Avoid overdependence of gadgets


There was a time when children referred to books for information. Now, everything is available at the click of a mouse. How about discouraging your kids from picking up stuff from online tutorials. I understand it is convenient, but let's face the reality. It is also what contributes to the addiction.

Get them a library membership where they can browse through informative material printed on paper. Let them do things the old way. Teach them to make notes, and encourage writing. There should be a minimum age set for when children can learn to do things from online 'how to' videos. Until then, let kids be creative, and use their brains to work out things.

Encourage play and outdoor activities


Physical activity makes bones stronger and improves motor skills. Playing outdoors will also get your kids closer to nature. They'll get some sun and fresh air. They'll also learn people skills. Playing with other kids helps in developing social skills. They will learn to work as a team. They will learn major lessons of winning and losing. They will learn to cooperate They will learn to fight their own battles. They will learn to make friends. They will learn to make choices. They will learn to understand how different people behave. It is a great learning experience. Do not deprive your kids of this learning opportunity.

Assign tasks


Tasks can keep your kids away from gadgets. There will be protests at first, but keep at it and soon a routine that doesn't include gadgets will be set.

Older kids can be encouraged to read or to help in the kitchen. If you have more than one kid, they can either work together or take turns on alternate days to do simple chores. Like laying the table, or making a salad.



They could be encouraged to narrate something that they have read about, or even seen on the net. (Yes, the net is allowed, it's not prohibited completely).

Younger kids can join in too. After all who doesn't like a little bit of play acting.

Follow simple rules


  • No screaming and/or shouting and showing you're in charge. Instead, talk to your kids in a convincing way
  • Be prepared for resistance. Keep at it, ask them for suggestions on how they'd like to spend their time
  • Ration gadget time. They can use gadgets for 'x' minutes/hours
  • Think of a plethora of activities to ween them
  • Spend time with your kids. Do things together. Your time with them is the best investment


Article by Juana
Juana is a freelance writer, with years of experience, creating content for varied online portals. She holds a degree in English Literature and has worked as a teacher and as a soft skill trainer. An avid reader, she writes on a variety of topics ranging from health, travel, education and personality development.

Follow Juana or read 458 articles authored by Juana

Related Articles

How to prevent acne scars?

This article explains various measures which keep acne under control. This decreases inflammation and consequently chances of formation of acne scars too decreases. Actions like not picking at skin, proper hydration, using sunscreen lotions, proper skin care regime etc prevent formation of acne scars.

Managing temper tantrums in children

All of us in some point of our lives do face the problem or challenge of handling a angry and aggressive child. Tackling the same becomes a tricky situation without proper guidance. Parents have to constantly keep working on ways to teach the child about how to deal with emotions in a better way.

Ways to make children work

The children should be taught to do work by teaching them the art of work, smart nature of job,knowing their interests and being assigned with small tasks. The children should be made to do work from their tender age because they learn a lot by doing work.

How To Control Anger?

Have you ever been angry and later on felt sad for being angry on some one or something? Do you want to control your anger ? Is anger good or not ? The following article will discuss about anger and measures through which we can control our anger.

More articles: Children Problems Manage Children How to

Comments

Author: K Mohan05 May 2017 Member Level: Platinum   Points : 5

This is a nice article which gives wider tips on how to keep the children away from the gadgets. Nowadays when the children are in infant stage ie before 1 year of age, they keenly watch what the mother is doing with the cell phone and they would love to catch it and feel it. Slowly that would become an interesting activity daily and he shall read how the mother would open the phone and then talk and even browse. Now as he becomes big and growing, he tries to have handed over the cell phone keys and thus in short period he masters over the cell phone and won't give back to the mother. This is the situation the adamant attitude of the child gets focused. Had the mother concealed the phone when the child was awake and playing with her, she would not have become a adamant child now. So the mother is responsible for the child bad behaviour and even at this stage, she can divert the attention of the child by showing some animals and flowers in the book so that he forgets about gadget,

Author: Juana24 May 2017 Member Level: Platinum   Points : 4

I tried to show ways to detach children from gadgets. These are little older kids and by gadgets, I refer to a range of instruments that children get addicted to - not just mobile phones.

I am of the opinion that education is about guiding and channeling children in the right path. I do not believe in the 'hide and operate' suggestion mooted by Mohan. Parents need to set boundaries and teach their children to confine their activities within those set rules. I will not start the blame game here, of blaming the mother.

The right way to teach a child is to give them reasons why they shouldn't be doing something. Parents should provide more opportunities to engage children. They should spend quality time with their children.

Author: umesh29 May 2017 Member Level: Gold   Points : 3

The author has very nicely brought out the menace of gadgets in the hands of children and ways to control this addiction.

I also advocate for 'Lead by example' because that is the thing which will impress the children most. They learn and mimic the parents in many ways. Until and unless parents are not going to set the example nothing is going to change.

Today it is really unfortunate that children have forgotten their toys, story books and childhood games for this modern idiot screen in their palms.

The article is well narrated and it will definitely make parents to think upon the matter seriously.

Author: Juana19 Jun 2017 Member Level: Platinum   Points : 3

There is another aspect here and that of peer pressure. School going kids, as young as class 4, are on WhatsApp. They play games on smartphones. There was this craze of Pokemon Go that had many children in my apartment complex driving their parents nuts, wanting to be driven to different places to catch the Pokemon.

Parents are required to devote time to their kids. Quality time is what is essential. Just being in the house is not enough. Parents must learn to interact with their kids, have conversations and discussions. Parents must create an atmosphere that involves children.



  • Do not include your name, "with regards" etc in the comment. Write detailed comment, relevant to the topic.
  • No HTML formatting and links to other web sites are allowed.
  • This is a strictly moderated site. Absolutely no spam allowed.
  • Name:
    Email: