03 8802 1519 [email protected]

Tips to Help Your Children Stay Calm and Away from The internet During The COVID-19 Lockdown

help children stay away from internet

Author: Ting Okamura

COVID-19 has changed the way we live our everyday lives and there is no sign that it will end any time soon. With the periodic and unpredictable lockdowns, we have all had to quickly adapt to this new lifestyle. With more and more online studies, children are using digital devices almost every day. As such, internet dependence/addiction has become a common issue.

Addiction to digital devices causes many bad habits. From losing hours or sleep to losing motivation for fitness and wellbeing, many of our children are spending hours engaging in YouTube or TikTok video clips instead of achieving something more meaningful. These bad habits reduce dopamine production and release, which results in emotional numbness and negative feelings. The rates of anxiety and depression are skyrocketing.

As parents, we want our children to stay away from overuse of electronic devices and feel better. Owing to lockdown, it has become one of the biggest challenges.

Recognise and Accept

Ignoring or trying to change how your kids think or feel won’t work. Lecturing them about their internet usage only creates more fights. Keep in mind that most of them would play sports or meet friends if it were allowed. Allow your children to have and express their feelings in a healthy way if they are anxious, impatient or frustrated. Give time for them to settle. Just being there for them already means a lot. Admitting and accepting that their feelings are true and real can relax their young souls.

11 Ways to Interact with Your Child Under 12

Here are 11 ways for you to interact with children under 12 years to keep them away from digital devices:

  1.  Encourage them to write down or draw their present feelings or a place that relaxes your child. (e.g. mountain, ocean, different season.)
  2.  Go on a 10 minute walk together.
  3.  Listen to music.
  4.  Take a bath.
  5.  Give every family member a hug.
  6.  Play with clay/play-doh (the sensation of touch is engaging and allows them to just be in present moment)
  7.  Stretch for 10 minutes.
  8.  Read an article or a story.
  9.  Dance to and/or sing a song (or a few songs)!
  10.  Make a dessert (foods like jelly and egg tarts are simple and easy to make).
  11.  Do an experiment (make your own Oobleck: this only uses cornflour, water and some food colour – and it’ll keep your kids occupied for a whole afternoon!).

3-Minute Mindfulness Breathing Exercises To Engage The Five Senses

Mindfulness breathing exercises can help to calm your child. Here is a simple 3-minute exercise for you to do with your child:

Firstly, take a few deep breaths slowly, then

  • Ask your child to name three things that they can see
  • Ask your child to name three things that they can hear
  • Ask your child to name three things that they can feel
  • Ask your child to name three things that they can smell
  • Let your child sip some water and ask them to name three feelings while they can feel the water down their throat

5 Topics to Explore Your Teenage Child’s Thoughts

Once your child is in a calmer state of mind, they are more likely to chat with you about how they are feeling. Building a solid relationship between you and your child enables you to participate more in your child’s life.

Below are 5 topics that might be interesting for you to explore more about your teenager children’s thoughts and plan for the future.

  1. How is your child prioritizing their tasks throughout the day?
  2. What are their interests and/or hobbies?
  3. What are their goals for the future in terms of further study or career direction?
  4. Do they need help in setting and achieving study goals?
  5. What do they value in life?

We hope that this article gives you some ideas about how to calm and be present with your child during this chaotic COVID-19 pandemic.

 

Counselling services available during lockdown. Call 8802 1519 for an appointment.

9 Reasons Why Using Digital Devices Can Harm Both Your Physical and Mental Health

overuse of digital devices

Author: Ting Okamura

Nowadays, our digital devices provide us with countless entertainment and social platforms at the touch of a button. It is very easy to become addicted. To some extent, we are all aware of the excessive time spent using these devices, but using these digital devices can cost you a lot more than just your time. As you use your devices more and more, they can also prevent you from achieving your goals, whilst slowly eating away your health. Here are some reasons why excessively using your digital devices is harming both your physical and mental health:

1. It steals time and opportunity

How many times have you launched an app to just watch a clip, but end up hours later having watched many clips? When you spend a lot of time engaging in meaningless internet browsing, you’ve wasted time that you could’ve put towards achieving something.

2. You develop bad habits

Each time you struggle to put down your device eats away at your self-discipline. You might start drowning yourself in negative thoughts like “I can’t live without my mobile”, “I cannot quit” and/or “I am not able to control myself”.

3. You give up more easily.

Your passions and interests take a backseat because you are not prioritising your time well. In reality, you’ve just become lazy and justify it with “I am busy with my mobile/PC”.

4. Your social skills decline

Only socialising via digital devices causes one to gradually lose interest in meeting people/friends in person. Over time, you’ll start to notice important habits, such as maintaining proper eye contact, take a dive and affect your social interactions.

5. You’ll lose sleep

Your priorities have shifted, and you’ll sacrifice a healthy night’s sleep in order to play or browse more.

6. It may lead to chronic pain

Without even noticing it, you may be maintaining a particular posture or position for a long time as your use your device. This creates many body aches, which, if not corrected over time, can develop into chronic pain.

7. You may lose touch with reality

Immersing yourself in the internet world for too long can cause you to lose the feeling of reality.

8. You’re at risk for severe medical issues

Your sedentary lifestyle leads to bad metabolism and weight gain. There have been many cases where people die in internet cafés due to playing online games for days without moving.

9. It can cause numbness and negative emotions

Dopamine is well known as the ‘happy hormone’ that the body produces when you have enough sleep, an appropriate amount of exercise and you’re achieving your goals. Using digital devices for too long can increase the risk of imbalanced dopamine release. Over time, a lack of dopamine can result in feelings of numbness, pessimism and boredom with life.

How we use digital entertainment in our everyday life is a serious matter. In order to live a meaningful and creative life, let’s use our devices in a way to enrich, instead of harm, our lives.