Did you know that too much technology within your children’s lives could delay communication development? Sadly, it’s true. Let’s talk about some ways we can work on enhancing communication skills.
Start employing “Technology Free Time” every single day. We know routines are healthy, so let’s add this into our daily activities. Plan technology free outings such as a trip to the park or zoo. You can reinforce this time by the use of non-electronic games. According to pediatricians at healthychildren.org, nursery rhymes such as peekaboo, and pat-a-cake actually serve an important purpose. These games aid face-to-face interaction, teach turn-taking, and reinforce essential parts of bonding and conversation. Even little activities like blowing kisses, waving, and clapping help children build social interaction and conversation skills.
Another good practice is to work on non-verbal messaging with your children. Non-verbal signals such as facial expressions, body language, and eye contact are all a part of communication. When using technology such as a laptop or smartphone, these nonverbal cues are often reduced or eliminated completely. Due to this, children are missing out on receiving important nonverbal signals from their parents.
Remember, “screen time” doesn’t mean alone time. You should encourage you children to play interactive games with their technology or watch videos with friends and family. Be a good role model! If you want your children to respect technology then you should start setting expectations and leading by example. Practice not using your phone at the dinner table, or during important conversations. You children will mirror this.
Remember it’s important to set technology limits early! For more ideas on how to implement healthy practices check out this video from the Washington Post!