With the Christmas festivities fast approaching, parents will be all consumed by the daunting task of making sure everyone is happy on the big day. Children, big and small, are at bursting point as they excitedly ponder what has been left for them under the tree. The challenge for parents at this time of year (as if there weren’t enough already), is to orchestrate the balance between what their kids want, and what their kids actually need.
In a recent survey, 20% of parents intend to buy their children a new device this Christmas. So tweens and teens across the country will soon be gleefully unwrapping smartphones and tablets.
And if they’re not careful, that’ll be the last they see of our beloved offspring as they disappear behind their screens. The Christmas sweater that was lovingly purchased by a relative remains wrapped and forgotten beneath the tree. The annual game of Charades is cancelled due to a shortage of contenders.
But fear not!
The Screen Time app can help parents manage the amount of time their kids spend on their devices, so you still get to enjoy those precious family moments.
One thing our app can’t do however is prevent our kids from getting lost in other ways. We’d love to introduce a button for this but until we do, here are a few useful pointers to help you hang onto your kids when out doing your Christmas shopping:
1. Write your phone number on your child’s arm. Even if they have memorised it with impressive accuracy, they might not remember it at times of need.
2. Take a picture of all offspring before you leave the house. Handy for descriptive purposes in the event of misplacing your child. Memory can be uncooperative during such times.
3. Agree on a meeting place for everyone to wait at if lost.
4. Point out who it’s okay to go to for help. For example a police officer, a member of staff, a mom with her children.
5. Dress your child in bright clothes so you can spot them from a distance.
And if you want to go that extra mile:
6. Give your child several helium balloons to hold. Ideally so they float above the crowd for easy identification.
7. Dress all children in high vis vests. (Additional hat with large flashing light attachment optional).
8. Do the Conga at all times, ensuring all family members participate for the duration of your public outing.
9. Use the power of incentivisation to keep your children close. This can be achieved by attaching a smartphone to your belt or alternatively, a fishing rod. See illustration above for guidance.
10. Leave the kids at home. They’d probably prefer it there anyway. Which also allows for ample shopping time on your own terms 🙂