Tell me something, dear mom, what do you do to calm your children when they are restless? Or when they get bored, they feel nervous, they are tired and they have a tantrum ... And no, I don't want your answer to be drawings, I already know that, my idea is to try to go one step further. Do you want to know what I have discovered? Well it turns out that, although at first it seems that it costs more, there are a number of things we can do to calm babies and children without having to use a mobile or tablet, Do you want to know which ones? Keep reading!
That screens are part of the lives of adults is something that no one is surprised, now, does it not shock you that they are also part of the lives of children? And even of babies. More and more parents who offer a screen to the child to calm down soon and 'do not disturb'. It seems like an effective solution in the short term, but the truth is that they actually get more nervous and irritable when you take your cell phone or turn off the television, and what is worse, the little ones spend so much time on new technologies that they stop using play, that is, they put aside what should be their main activity for the day.
As I read the other day in a report, screens are already part of our children's daily livesNo matter how old they are, even as babies. Parents allow babies and children to use mobile almost on demand. The report was called Trends in toys and family games in Spain, published by the Technological Institute of Children's and Leisure Products (AIJU). It stated that: 'more than 50% of children between 1 and 12 years old spend at least four hours a week in front of the television.'
It was then that I started to think about it. What can I do to bypass the screens? Understand me, it's not that I have my children in front of the television all day, but I do use it more than I would like. For example, when my 7-year-old son is tired and I have little time to spend with him, I let him put whatever pictures he wants on television. Another example, my 2 year old daughter has always been very unruly at eating; Yes, you are right, I put the drawings on the mobile more than once and more than two so that he eats well and does not take so long.
More examples of overuse of screens? Last weekend, while I was having dinner with my friends, the girl of one of them was looking at her mobile, so her parents could have some time to 'be calm'. I will not tell you more, you already know very well in which situations we use screens as an 'infallible tool'. We better analyze what can we do instead to calm babies and children without having to use a mobile or tablet.
1. Pay attention to the baby's cry
In the case of very young babies, you have to pay attention to crying to know what bothers them: if they need a diaper change, another feeding, the arms of mom or dad ... Another piece of information that comes to mind, World Health Organization (WHO) recommends not exposing children to new technologies until they are two years old. Raise your hand who has skipped this recommendation.
2. Physical contact works miracles
What else can we do to calm a baby when he is nervous or irritable? Well, something as basic as picking him up and cradling him for as long as he needs. Physical contact is super necessary for them.
3. A massage, no one can resist!
There are times when my daughter doesn't even know what to do, so I tell her: 'come on, I'll do the thing with the little ant on your back (which is, of course, a light massage on the back)', problem solved! Between you and me, who is getting older and is ashamed that I am counting these things, I also do it to my 7-year-old son, he loves it!
4. It's bath time!
Last week, without going any further, my son was overwhelmed because he had to do a school assignment and he didn't feel like anything. So I told him if he wanted to take a bath with foam included. Believe me, it came out very relaxed. It goes without saying that if it works with a child, with a baby even more.
At what age do you plan to give your child a mobile? According to experts, we should wait until the children are 12 years old. However, often the problem is that we are the parents themselves who give the device to our children. What can we do to avoid going directly to the mobile when they are nervous?
5. Let him play whatever he wants
Let your child play, explore and get dirty what he wants, many times it is the rules and more rules that we older people give them that make them nervous.
6. Music teacher
How about some musical notes? They are always a great help when it comes to calming the little ones. Be careful, I said musical notes, nothing to put music videos on a screen. Lullabies, for example, could be a good option.
7. Yoga postures
If your child is still small, but is no longer a baby, I recommend that you do some simple yoga poses, some stretches or just a few deep breaths with him. Do not wait to do them when he is overwhelmed because, for example, he has had a hectic day at school, it is something that you can do routinely, you will see that stressful situations at home or at school go to the background.
8. Make him laugh
Did you know that a smile can do anything? Well yes, as you hear it. It is an infallible weapon to calm a baby or child without having to reach for a screen. Can't believe it? Try and then tell me! How about improvising a joke competition?
9. Let's draw!
Just as I recognize the things that I have to try to improve, such as putting my daughter on my phone every time she sits at the table, I also like to say the things that I am proud of. For example? Well, I am proud of something as simple as always carrying a notebook and a few colored pencils in my bag. If my child gets nervous while waiting at the doctor's office or the time it takes to serve us dinner when we go to a restaurant, what do I do? Yes, you are right, I offer you the paintings so that you can draw whatever you want. He never says no to me!
And finally and more importantly, to calm a baby who cries inconsolably or a child who is stressed without using the screens, ¡¡calm must be keeped! It is of little use to tell him in words to calm down if with gestures we make him see that we are more nervous than he is.
I am going to try all these things with my children, surely more than one works for me, do you also dare to try?
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