If we want to have a quiet meal, either because we are with friends or family or because we are away from home, it is common to go to technology devices so that our children are entertained. The truth is that this habit in children of eating with their mobile or tablet easily becomes a bad habit that does not favor family moments and communication. But can this custom be changed? When is it too late. How to eliminate the bad habit of children to eat with the mobile or tablet.
- The habit of some children to eat with their mobile or tablet
- How to get rid of the bad habit of putting a video on your child to eat
The habit of some children to eat with their mobile or tablet
Do your children only eat if you put something on your mobile or tablet? This custom that has been common since access to new technologies is more available to all of us. However, it has caused and is causing significant damage to the development of a healthy family environment. And it is that eating while using the mobile phone can have advantages and disadvantages.
We will now focus on the most problematic aspects of this custom. If you feel recognized in any of the situations, please do not take it as a criticism, just become aware of what you can change from now on knowing this information. And with love and patience, the change will pay off.
– Lack of family interaction
The first drawback of eating with your mobile can be focused on the lack of family interaction. For a child it is not only sitting at the table to eat, it is also a time to interact with parents and siblings. It is time to learn to share a meal, the table, to learn basic education rules, in addition to sharing experiences, and expressing feelings. Explain to your child what it is to sit at the table and how he should behave.
– Family ties are not reinforced
Take time to be at the table with your children. Lunch or dinner is the ideal time to strengthen family ties. Obviously without television, mobile or other types of distractions that do not favor dialogue. It is a good time for you to tell each other how your day has gone.
– Eating with your mobile or television makes you fat
The more distraction we have during the meal, the more we will gain weight. And this will happen for two main reasons: one because the brain will be distracted, it will not know when it is satiated; and two, because we will not be attentive to what they are really eating, so they will not be able to appreciate the differences between a good healthy diet and one of junk food. This happens in the case of children, but also of adults.
– The relationship of children with food does not benefit
Let’s take advantage of the meal time to explain and make them differentiate between what is a healthy meal and what is not. Involving children and telling them more about what they are eating is a good way to encourage them to eat everything. It is even recommended whenever possible to involve them in cooking.
– We do not work attention
If we want our children to learn to be attentive and focused, to eliminate other stimuli that try to distract them, it is necessary to teach them to be present in each activity they carry out. And food is one of them. If we use the mobile to distract them while the meal is finished, they will not learn to concentrate.
Avoid using the mobile phone during the meal and thus we will be educating children who are more attentive, with a greater capacity for effort, with more attention to focus on what is important, more patients and less distracted from the present moment.
– Self-control is not taught when eating
Finally, remember that you are teaching your child to relate to food from a distraction and that can establish self-control mechanisms with food in the future of our children, since they will always have depended on an aid to eat.
How to get rid of the bad habit of putting a video on your child to eat
To unhook our children from this bad habit, we can carry out some of these options:
- Offer alternatives to mobile
We can tell you a story, tale, poetry or experience from when we were little. You can also tell them about the benefits of each food and its consumption. (You already know that if you use metaphors you will attract their attention more, or if you use well-known characters such as: Popeye and the power of spinach …).
- Take the opportunity to show him new ways of relating at the table
Do not forget that the supervision and the example of parents is the root of our children’s learning in order to instill healthy eating habits that they will surely maintain throughout their lives.
- Avoid punishment
Your child may have tantrums when you start with the new rules. Accustomed to always eating with the mobile or tablet, it is totally normal that it happens. To do this, avoid punishing him and with positive psychology, without yelling and without anger, it will be easier for him to undergo this process of change.
- Establish time of use of the mobile or tablet at home and away
To do this, it sets standards firmly. Explain the reason for setting limits, when and where they will have to be carried out, and the consequences that non-compliance will entail. Remember that setting limits is good.
- Disconnect the home Wi-Fi during certain hours of the day (mainly at lunchtime)
In this way, everyone will start to develop new habits and you, moms and dads, will be an example to follow. If your child cannot play while eating, you cannot use mobile phones during meals either. Show him that eating without a mobile is fun too.
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- Make a list of activities together
It is about looking for plans that you can make during the meal or topics of conversation that you can discuss while you eat. Take the opportunity to plan the weekend, or the visit to the house of grandparents, friends … etc. The next vacation or the next outing to the countryside, mountains, beach…
- Reinforce the time that is not using the mobile with an activity, gift or word
All of this will make you feel like you are doing things the right way at that moment. Encourage him above all with expressions that are focused on the effort he is making: ‘I know I am not being easy but I am proud of you’, ‘your effort is an example for everyone’ … And emotional gifts are also fabulous in these cases.
- If the meal takes place outside the home, avoid taking the tablet with you
We know that at certain times the situation will get difficult but with love and patience, and day after day, it will be achieved. It is essential that they understand when it can be used and when it cannot. To avoid falling, we recommend that you leave the tablet at home when you go to a restaurant or to the house of a family member or friend.
- Before prohibiting, please, sit with your child and look for alternatives
It is better that they enter into the search process so that they feel responsible for their actions (as long as their age allows). For example, at a certain time of day, all mobiles should be visible to everyone at the entrance of the house, or in a basket on the table in the living room. Another example, at night, disconnect Wi-Fi and leave mobile phones or tablets outside the bedrooms.
Remember that it is the responsibility of parents to explain to their children the consequences of the misuse of technology. To finish, do not forget that firmness, affection, and patience to set limits, clear rules and stand firm when it comes to taking consequences is a great remedy. Setting limits is an act of love and helps our children feel more confident tomorrow.