Let’s Actually Spend Time With Our Kids
Parenting means providing. It’s a fact of nature, society and the economy. Most Kenyan parents today are consumed with financial issues, chasing pay cheques and businesses to support their families. This translates into working long hours, often away from home and leaving children under the care of nannies and probably other family members. Most kids today will see their parents at the dinner table if they are lucky, where they spend one to two hours sharing a meal often in the presence of the television and their mobile phones before their exhausted parents rush off to bed to rest. Weekends and most Sundays have been set aside for “family time” where most modern families go out to eat and share a meal at a place where “the kids can run around and play” while their parents catch up on some much-needed R & R as they wait for their nannies to come back in the evening. Spending 10 minutes each day, one-on-one with your child can make a huge difference in the long run according to Dr. Carol Chakua, Psychotherapist & Parenting Coach.
Mobile Gadgets & TVs Are Not Babysitters
Digital technology has become the life hack of the 21st century. We can do almost anything at the tap of a button thanks to smartphones and the internet. Today, when kids become “too noisy” or “overly playful” most often than not, TV is used to bribe them into submission. Long gone are the days when the sounds of children’s laughter coming from outside can be clearly heard. Many Kenyan estates are quite quiet because the majority of the kids around are busy watching TV or streaming YouTube videos. Safety, mistrust, and change of culture have had a lot of contribution to this as well. Today’s children are no longer seen as the property of the society. Babies get exposed to TVs & phones for entertainment from almost as soon as they can see…with baby targeted content readily available on YouTube. As much as technology can be convenient…regulation is vital
Monitoring Screen Time Is A Necessity
Well, monitoring screen time is important because not only is too much screen time harmful to your child’s development, unregulated screen time leaves them open to being affected by harmful content. An article by the Daily Nation mid last month showed that a survey conducted among around 1200 high school students revealed the top 3 favorite activities for teens their age are: watching porn, sex and drinking alcohol. Shocking! Yet, teenage pregnancies are on the rise, with Nairobi County, our modern metropolis and Mombasa and Kisumu producing a large number of cases despite the fact that sexual health education is believed to be easily accessible in modern cities and awareness is believed to be higher. Further research shows that by the age of 10, most children today have been exposed to sexual content and actually rely on search engines like Google for sexual education as opposed to their parents or teachers. Unregulated screen time exposes children to adult content and safety threats.
Social Media Parenting
If you do not follow your kid online or are not internet friends with them, it’s about time you change that. Social Media, especially for the girl child has become a great source of pressure. From boosting insecurities about physical appearances thanks to unrealistic goals set by social influencers to the excessive showboating of material wealth. Kids today are growing up with the desire to live up to their fav online personalities, most of whom are faking their lifestyles for likes. As a parent, creating the balance between monitoring what your son or daughter is up to without infringing their privacy will be your biggest challenge yet.
Digital Parenting Is A Must Have Skill
At Unplugged, we teach Parents a variety of skills and tips on all the above and more. Parents today are being faced with unique challenges that did not exist 10 years ago. From Cyber-bullies to online predators and bizarre cases like the momo challenge, the digital revolution demands that parents rise to the occasion and protect their children in a variety of ways. Empower both you and your child to conquer the digital age by signing up for our programs today.