In today’s day and age, there’s nothing more happening than the life of a teenager. Thanks to technology, our kids, almost on the brink of adulthood, have numerous things keeping them “busy”. Whether it’s the multitude of social apps on their smartphones or the exciting plethora of TV shows and games, their life never falls short on the entertainment quotient. However, this, for us parents is a huge cause of concern as we’re well aware how easily these mediums of entertainment can turn into distractions.
How to Eliminate Your Teen’s Distractions
Dedicating most of their time to technology can impact not only the physical well-being of teenagers but their cognitive health too. Giving teenagers too much freedom with respect to their use of technology and internet can also expose them to the brunt of cyber bullying and cyber crime. Here are five effective ways you can eliminate your teenager’s distractions and improve his focus:
1. Help Him Create A Daily Schedule
No matter how “grown-up” you think your child may have become, it is still important that you urge him to abide by a set schedule. Buy him a planner and encourage him to jot down a list of each day’s activities, priority wise. Help him bring about a structure in his everyday life, so he has little scope to while away time, making use of every minute, productively. Encourage him to maintain a good balance between study, leisure, and physical activities. Allow him to prepare his schedule by himself and step in only when you see the need.
2. Keep A Tab On His Technology Use
Though you’ve allowed your teenager to enjoy the luxuries of modern technology, ensure that he doesn’t misuse his privilege. Set a limit on the number of hours your child can use his phone, tablet, TV or gaming console. Avoid his use of these gadgets beyond certain hours of the day and during certain periods such as mealtime, study time, sleep time, etc. Even though initially you may face his resistance to this rule, over time your teenager will get used to this practice.
3. Create “No-Distraction” Zones
Despite the fact that your teenager prides in being a multi-tasker, there are little chances of him being able to concentrate on his homework, with his smartphone in his hand. Introduce the concept of distraction free zones in your house, especially in your child’s study area. Avoid the use of all gadgets including phones, handheld games, laptops, tablets, etc. and remove other distracting elements from that room. Keep the atmosphere as noise and diversion-free as possible. If your teenager insists that he needs to use the internet for research, let him do his research, make notes and then enter the study.
4. Talk To Him About His Life
It is essential for you to connect with your child on a greater, friendlier level than merely as a parent. Make it a point to talk to your teenager about his life, his friends, the troubles he is facing at school or outside. This will help you establish a comfort level with him and give you clues into his behavioral changes. It will also help you pin down the possible causes of why your child is distracted or stressed and thus, help you devise a solution to minimize his troubles. Even if your child is hesitant to speak to you, you must take an extra effort to make him feel comfortable opening up to you. Be open and approachable, not judgmental.
5. Get More Involved In His School And After-School Participation
You must also be aware of his performance in school and his participation in after-school activities. Maintain a close association with your teen’s teachers and speak to them regularly about his conduct, academic performance and contribution to class. Make sure you also know of the co-curricular activities your child participates in and watch out for his talent and skill towards them – may it be in sports or artistic fields. Reinforce his positive spark by encouraging him with words of praise, but if he seems to go off track, don’t refrain from being stern with him.
You must understand that the teenage phase is a difficult time for your child as he is undergoing a whirlwind of physical changes and hormonal ups and downs. You must, therefore, be extremely understanding and patient while dealing with him. Give him an adequate amount of freedom to make his decisions while being his guiding light, but put your foot down when there is a need. Hope these tips help you and your adolescent.