It’s no secret that society today is immersed in technology. There’s a seemingly countless number of gadgets that can fit in our pockets and capture our imaginations regardless of where we go or who we’re with. Sadly, this epidemic is affecting children as well.
While we should all encourage our youth to be technologically-savvy in a world entirely dependent upon technology, it should not come at the expense of communication or time spent with loved ones…but it definitely does…and far too often.
Are you having trouble getting your grandchild – or grandchildren – to put down their phone and talk to you? Are you unable to find out something as simple as how their day went or when their next game is because they’re consumed by whatever (most likely meaningless) app they’re playing with on their smartphone?
Your frustration is entirely understandable, but don’t throw in the towel just yet. Here are a few tips and tricks to consider that just might help solve this all-to-common issue:
This might seem like the simplest and most common-sense approach. After all, you are the adult in this situation and, as such, you set the tone. Ahhh, wouldn’t it be nice if it were so simple. We can agree that it SHOULD be, but the problem is…by “forcing” a child to put their phone or other gadget down, there’s a good chance they will “shut down” and spend the rest of your “quality time” together being silent, resentful or just angry. Yes, this is foolish behavior, but it happens…and it’s far too common. Every child is different, however, so perhaps you have a grandchild who will respond to this straightforward approach. If you think it could do the trick, go for it. If not, there are other suggestions…
It’s understandable that grandparents don’t have the same energy level as their grandchildren. To expect that would be unrealistic. But finding activities to do together will keep all parties engaged, hopefully entertained, and possibly create memories that will last a lifetime. While sitting in a room and talking is nice and necessary, it’s important to keep a child’s attention-span limits in mind. Whether we like it or not, the truth is…they get bored, and when they do, they will most likely reach for their phones or other gadgets. Something as simple as going for a walk (if you’re physically able), going fishing, swimming in the pool or going to the movies can do the trick. A game of pool, cards or trivia are also excellent ways to connect with your grandchildren and are entertaining activities that can be enjoyed by participants of all ages.
You’ve heard the old adage that the best way to a man’s heart is through his stomach, right? Well, food works for kids, too! Ok, this can be considered bribery – and it’s ridiculous that we’ve reached this point – but if and when all else fails, offer up a favorite treat in exchange for the phone or other gadget. Hopefully after a few swaps, the kiddos will just be trained and it won’t be necessary any longer. But, just in case, keep the baking sheets greased and the oven pre-heated.
© Lourdes-Noreen McKeen | 315 South Flagler Drive, West Palm Beach, FL33401 | 561.655.8544