The absorption of children into screens is a bane of modern parenting – and such addiction has reached alarming heights during the pandemic. Here are some parenting tips to help your little one wean off their electronics.
1. Extra-curricular activities. Martial arts provide a safe platform for releasing energy while learning valuable self-defense skills. Remember to set reasonable expectations – these blazing tornado hits don’t happen overnight. However, once you achieve mastery at the brown belt level, you are ready to protect your phone or iPad from your kids. Put on your white karategi, and, with your spouse, form a wall of human defense in front of the electronic devices in your household. As your children approach like a pack of ferocious wolves, eyes flaming and mouths curved in ungodly sneers, take responsibility for it. kiba-dachi, or “stance on horseback”. Some less determined children can then withdraw to a privileged activity without a screen, such as looking into the abyss, finding ways to get their hands on a screen. Most, however, will continue their hungry advance towards the devices. Under the passionate cry of a warrior—Hoong-ahh!– and, as your enemies get closer, deploy a quick circle kick. If they continue their assault, keep a cool head and let your training guide you. Always remember Sun Tzu’s adage: “In war, then may victory be your great goal, not long campaigns. “
2. Find some quiet time with your son, preferably when he’s not streaming a video game live to an audience of complete strangers. Explain to him how, when Grandpa was little, he spent his free time playing jacks.
“What are jacks? Your son will ask.
“It’s a game of yesteryear played with a little ball and six-pointed metal stars,” you will answer. “Its official name is ossicles. “
“And what is a grandfather?” Your son will ask.
“He’s that lonely old man who’s been stuck in a Florida condo for two years. Sometimes it shows up on your screen in a FaceTime box that you minimize while playing Minecraft.
“Oh, him,” your son will say. “Next time he’s on FaceTimes I’ll tell him to go outside and play jacks.”
This may not persuade your child to give up their screen. But it can take your father away from his.
3. This strategy will require a little time travel, which is admittedly difficult, but certainly no more difficult than snatching your phone from the steel fist of a four-year-old. Set your time machine to mid-70s California and make your way to Crist Drive in Los Altos, near Cupertino. There you will meet an arrogant young man, no doubt tinkering with a primitive box-like computer and wearing a black turtleneck. After explaining to him that you are visiting from 2021, he will probably ask you questions about the role personal computers will play in the future.
“Computers?” you are to ask. “Uh. . . Oh that’s right. These things. I think I know what you’re talking about. In the future, they will be used exclusively by amateurs and geeks. A not very lucrative market, that’s for sure. Continue by explaining that smart money – the place to direct his enviable intelligence and manic ambition – is to find a solution to climate change. “This is,” you will say before you look back into the future, “this is where the bulk of the money is. Certainly not sure … what are these things called again? Personal condolences? “
If he doesn’t seem convinced, kill him. ??