In this blog post, I intend on leaving you with 3 ways to spend quality time with your child. I am also going to attempt to break the myth that children should be kept away from technology.
Why the need for this post?
Every parent I talk to complains about the lack of quality time spent with their child. Parents are too busy earning a livelihood and creating a good environment for their child that they are unable to spend more than an 30 minutes each day in a normal conversation with their child. Does this sound like you? If yes, read on. If not, read on anyway and share your thoughts on how you manage to spend quality time with your child.
3 ways to spend quality time with your child
1. Story time
Irrespective of your child’s age, you should devote a fixed time each day for story time. Story time should be in a relaxed environment where the child is most comfortable, so that his / her concentration powers are at their peak. Story time can take different forms: you reading out a story to your child, or your child reading out a story to you, or both you and your child listening to a story together. Follow up your story time with an open discussion with your child. Discuss the characters of the story, their behaviours, their values and even discuss the situations and different responses to them. Story time can also be in the car on the drive to school, thus making the drive an enjoyable experience for everyone. If you are looking for age appropriate stories for your child, try Neev magazine.
Remember: this may be the first time your child is hearing of a situation or a behaviour so remember to discuss it openly.
What your child will learn: New behaviours and values, new words, correct sentence formation, how to have a conversation.
2. Learn something new everyday:
Pick a topic, any topic, that is appropriate for your child’s age. Discuss with your child and agree on a realistic goal. Once you are both ready, sit down in a distraction-free space and discuss what both of you have learnt about the topic. Keep the discussion informal and appreciate all the efforts your child has put into researching and finding out information about the topic. Not sure where to start? If you are looking for a personalised topic plan that can enhance your child’s learning, drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Remember: Keep the topic age appropriate and varied to pique your child’s interest and learning capacity.
What your child will learn: Knowledge on new and varied topics, how to set a realistic goal and stick to it, how to look for information, how to have a discussion.
3. No technology during meal time:
Set a rule, whether you are at home or outside in a restaurant – there should be no use of technology during meal time. Use that time to connect with your child and ask them about their day. Give them a chance to summarise their entire day. Listen carefully and appreciate their summary. Ask them specific questions and also ask them questions that give you an insight into their thinking process. Say your child narrates an incident, ask them why they acted a particular way. Depending on the age of your child, probe further and have an open discussion. Feel free to share your own experiences as well.
Remember: Be a role model. Act the way you want your child to act. So do not use technology yourself during meal time. If you need to make an exception, explain to your child why that is so.
What your child will learn: Focus, paying attention, summarising, responding to questions.
Should I keep my child away from technology?
No, no, and once again no. No matter what the age of your child, remember you are trying to equip your child with the right skills to be successful in life and work. If you look at the world around you, we are flooded with practical applications of technology. Even our basic needs in life are now being met with the omnipresence of technology. Practical applications of technology that have made our lives so much simpler: online banking, atms, instant messaging, location based services, online shopping, comparisons and research, etc. Why then would you not allow your child to get comfortable with technology that is present today?
Remember: equip your child with the skills of the future in order to set them up for success.
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