1. Ask the Expert
    2. Parenting FAQs
    3. My 8.5-year-old niece is very sharp. But lately she seems to be hooked on gadgets and we feel that is affecting her performance in academics as well as co-curricular activities. If reprimanded, she becomes very agitated and starts crying. How do we handle

    Parenting

    My 8.5-year-old niece is very sharp. But lately she seems to be hooked on gadgets and we feel that is affecting her performance in academics as well as co-curricular activities. If reprimanded, she becomes very agitated and starts crying. How do we handle

    Team ParentCircle Answered by Team ParentCircle


    Dear Aunt,

    It can be very tiring when kids don't listen and instead indulge in activities we know are harmful to them. However, reprimanding the child rarely teaches her skills to deal with the issue at hand. Instead, involve all the family members, including the child herself, in formulating the agreements around gadget use in the house - for example, how many minutes per day and what content (games, videos, etc.) is permissible. If your child doesn’t agree to your suggestions, negotiate with her (this will also teach her to negotiate with her peers, instead of fighting). Also, mutually decide on the consequences if those rules are broken.  For example, in the above situation, if the limit for gadget use has been set for 30 minutes, the gadget has to be taken away and shut down after that time limit, no matter what.

    This does not leave scope for any arguments or discussion. Additionally, together with the child, it will be helpful to draw a list of activities that the child can pursue instead of using gadgets. Is she interested in dancing and can be enrolled in a dance class? Is she interested in chess and can play chess with a friend? Puzzles? Badminton? Reading? The list of engaging activities is endless. Lastly, ask the parents to monitor their own gadget use. Do they eat dinner while watching TV or scrolling on their mobile? If yes, this sets a poor precedent for the child. If any rule regarding gadget use has to be enforced successfully, the parents will have to cut down on their own use. For more info, please read our article: Cost-Effective and Engaging Ways To Limit Screen Time For Children

    Is this helpful?

    This answer is helpful for 0 parents


    Thank You!

    The expert will answer your question soon.

    Related FAQs