Unplugging when you’re hanging out with your toddler

It’s no secret that most of us are surrounded by technology every day, and that we often need to be plugged in at different points through the day. Most adults have come across many articles about limiting screen time for toddlers, but what about limiting screen time for parents around children?

Sure, what you’re looking at is important. Technology allows us to catch up on the most recent news, and even to connect with family and friends right from home. However, since all parents will agree their children are more important than what’s on the screen, it’s important to convey that message to them.

Here are some benefits of unplugging:

  • Communicating face-to-face: Toddlers learn so much from face-to-face communication with their caregivers. In addition to language, Baby is also learning to read facial expressions and body language, which in turn helps him understand other people’s emotions, and the finer points of communication.
  • Preventing accidents: As Baby continues to learn and explore his environment, safety is always going to be a concern. Having eyes on a screen is a distraction from your little one, and accidents can happen quickly and unexpectedly. Though it’s tempting, try to limit glimpses at the phone or tablet when he is active, especially in places like play areas and parks.
  • Encouraging creativity: Yes, television shows and learning apps can be lots of fun, and in some cases can be educational for toddlers, but they also do the entertaining for you. Unplugging during certain times of the day can force you to make your own fun, and you may just surprise yourself with the creative ideas you and Baby develop.
  • Creating a connection: Forget your Wi-Fi connection; the most important connection is the one with Baby. Unplugging from technology when you’re with him will help him understand how important to you your bond truly is.
  • Developing good habits: Parents don’t want their children just relying on technology for entertainment. After all, there’s a perfectly good adventure to be had out there in the world! Designating time to unplug teaches Baby to divide his time between screen time and active play, which is a great lesson to establish early on.

As Baby grows, technology is probably only going to grow into more and more of a part of his life as he gets older, so setting up good habits for both of you now not only has benefits today, but could help him out for the rest of his life.

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