As a 21st century parent I think we have more challenges to face than our parents faced (though every generation keeps saying they had a tough time raising their offspring's but nevertheless, I still believe we are going through tougher times). The reason being the ever exploding mediums of communications which are available to our children... All thanks to the booming technological advancements... we have definitely moved really fast in this one sector!
So lets face it, its here to stay and has become a part of our ecosystem (I don't want to get onto the pros and cons of this) but will like to find out how do we use this beautiful invention to the betterment of our children's development... or in other words synchronize it with their education.
My seven year old son loves playing online games, his current fav is Clash of Clans [I think its quite popular among kids, coz I saw it being mentioned in the Dastak (a life-skill program run by our organization) stories too]. I would have to admit it, I too love playing that game when my son is in school... :P
|Clash of Clans- Android apps on Google Play|
The point I am driving is not the addiction to games but how kids can be motivated using these games as examples to get their interests back to books. As a parent the biggest mistake we make is completely belittle these games or activities which our kids love to play. This act of ours eventually leads to developing rebellious minds.
The first fall out of the rebellious mind is the already very fickle concentration levels... Lo behold we end up blaming everything on these games or the cartoons or whatever extra curricular activities the kid had been spending time on.
Human mind is very egoistic!We all love throwing tantrums and also love being cajoled if we want others to follow them. So the same rules applies with kids too... they are our offspring and have inherited the same genes!
The tip is use these games or the cartoons which they watch as the model examples to help them bring back their concentration levels.
Lemme give you a small example, this weekend my son was doing his homework as usual he was bargaining with me if he finishes off his homework within stipulated time, I will let him play Clash of Clans! My answer was yes! But, fickle concentration started playing the devils role! The work which was supposed to be finished in 1 hour took 3 hours and with umpteen number of breaks and the quality of work was also not up to my son's standard.
So after lot of cribbing and shouting I gave up and asked him to wrap up for the day. In the evening while playing this game on my phone, he was excitingly telling me his various strategies of why he wants to collect gold coins and elixirs. So he continued telling me if he uses gems he will be able to boost the production of both resources and therefore he will be able to upgrade his village and army etc (you need to play this game before you understand what I am talking about) and defend as well as attack other player's villages. Like this he will be able to move up in levels. After the discussion he asked me to go so that he could concentrate on his game, because he was going to take revenge from fellow players and had to work on his little raiding strategy. I obliged him and moved away.
When he was done with a couple of attacks and was able to increase his gold booty and points, I just told him,"My dear this is exactly why you need to study and do your homework, so that you can increase your concentration levels and be able to grab all the information and knowledge which is being taught to you in school. The information and knowledge are your gold coins and elixirs the resources you need to upgrade your mind. Assignments and home work is being given to you so that you are able to strategically apply to solving bigger problems which will be given to you as you move to higher levels/classes!" The expression on my son's face told he understood what I was hinting at :D
One thing I have learned in my seven years of mother hood, if I want to guide my children and make them to listen to my ideas (but let them take their own decisions) then for that herculean task to happen, I need to get inside their little minds and learn to see the world from their perspectives. Once I realize what they can see, then I begin to drop in my seeds of wisdom as understood by them!