Is your child suffering from smartphone addiction?
In this digital world, it has become harder than ever to resist a smartphone. Leave adults, even toddlers are addicted to these digital devices. Today, these tablets, smartphones, and laptops have become an integral part of your kid’s life. You will agree that no matter how much you try to warn your kids about the dark side of the media, they will still go back to those smartphones. After all, it is their prime source of entertainment.
But, what if you offer them any alternative fun source to pass their leisure time?
Well, it is the best solution to free your kid from the shackles of smartphone addiction.
Firstly, let us understand why you need to replace your child’s smartphone.
Why Should Your Child Not Use Smartphone?
I am not saying that your children should give up their smartphones completely nor am I saying that using technology is a bad thing. All I want to convey is that the use of smartphones by your kid should be limited and they must be monitored while using these devices. Of course, they will need these smartphones from time to time for education or for staying in contact with their long-distance friends and family. But for entertainment purposes, they should opt for healthier options. As, if the usage of smartphones is not adequate, it can affect your child not only mentally but physically too.
Have a look at some of the harmful effects of excessive use of smartphones.
Excessive exposure to digital screens can affect sleep quality and duration badly. According to scientists, smartphones emit blue light which can affect the production of “melatonin”, the sleep hormone. As a result, your child can struggle to sleep peacefully and their proper growth and development can be hindered.
Lack of Social Skills
Smartphones let your kid travel the Universe through a 6 inches screen but it also distracts them from the real world. Their conversational skills and social skills get affected and they struggle to bond with people in real life. It even affects their ability to understand feelings and emotions, all they care about is their likes and comments on their social media posts.
Interaction with Age Inappropriate Content
In this digital world, most kids have access to the internet. And this mighty internet lets them search for anything they are curious about. Kids can very easily find inappropriate content like pornography, drugs, and alcohol, violence online and it can affect their mind more than you can imagine.
This is just the tip of the iceberg. Inside lies the many other dreadful threats too like cyberbullying, online scams, and much more. They will never take a straight No from you even if you try to make them understand these potential threats. The root solution to this problem is to offer alternative entertainment sources to your kids. So that they do not strain their eyes and mind on these gadgets.
10 Options That Can Replace Your Kid’s Smartphone
Here are the ten interesting things you can offer to your kids whenever they crave smartphones.
1. Musical Instruments
A musical instrument whether it is a guitar, ukulele, or even a simple keyboard can prove to be the best mate for your kid for their leisure time. Who knows, they might discover their hidden talent while using these instruments just for the sake of entertainment.
I am not talking about their course books. Offer them some interesting books which include facts or fiction or whatever your child likes. It will not only help them pass their time in the healthiest way possible but also improve their vocabulary, knowledge, and imagination.
3. GPS Smartwatch
If your kid is a techno freak then this is the best alternative. This will let them make calls or send messages but it is not addictive like smartphones. Due to limited functionality, your kid will use it for just the appropriate amount of time. Moreover, using this watch you can also track the whereabouts of your kids when they are not in front of your eyes. So, it is basically a win-win situation.
Yes, Kindle includes a digital screen but it is not half as harmful as a smartphone’s screen. Using Kindle, kids can easily get entertained by choosing a book to read from innumerable options available.
5. Music Player
Most of the kids and even adults are music lovers. If your kid is one too, then you can buy them an iPod Shuffle or any basic MP3 player. Let them spend their leisure time grooving on the beats of their favorite track.
6. Board Games
Gift your kids some interesting board games like Snakes and Ladders, Scrabble, Dominoes, or Smath. There are loads of options available, choose according to your child’s interests. These offline games will not only help to keep your kids away from blue screens in a fun way but also teach them better social skills. The cherry on the top is they are educational too.
7. Cooking and Baking Tools and Recipe Books
Now for this alternative, your kids might need your help if they are still young. But believe me, it is the best way to utilize their leisure time. Encourage them to try different recipes of cakes or curries. This will not only be an interesting activity for them but it will also develop their basic life skills.
8. Art and Craft Sets
Art and Craft sets come in innumerable forms. You can let your kid decide which one they want. The main motive behind it is to keep your kid engaged so that they do not crave that smartphone anymore. These craft activities will entertain your kids as well as help them to get in touch with their creative side by boosting their imagination.
9. Screen-less Phones
Screenless cell phones like Relay or Snowfox are the need of the hour. These “Just for Kids” phones look like small speakers and work with cellular or Wi-fi networks. It has geofencing features as well as SOS alerts. If you are thinking of handing them over their first phone, try this instead of smartphones. It is way safer.
10. Engraving Art Kits
Lately, Engraving Art Kits is gaining popularity not only amongst adults but in kids too. The fact that it lets your little kiddo bring out their imagination and creativity on canvas is overwhelming.
I hope now you are aware of why you shouldn’t let your kid use unrestricted internet and gadgets and what possible alternatives can replace these smartphones for kids’ leisure time. Smartphones cannot be completely replaced but they should be used for a limited period. As a parent, you will still have to assign these smartphones to your kids for some unignorable needs like online classes. No matter for which purpose you are assigning these smartphones to your kids, installing parental control apps on devices is a must. Install best parental control apps and software like Bit Guardian Parental Control before handing digital devices to your kids to ensure their appropriate digital exposure. It will not only monitor and control their screen time but also ensure that your kid is growing and developing with technology sensibly.