Spend family time this weekend learning to play your child’s favorite video game or watch their favorite TV show or movie with them. With them is the key word and boosts not just their IQ, but their EQ or Emotional Fitness.
Here is a Forbes article discussing research into this topic. http://www.digitaltrends.com/mobile/91-percent-of-kids-play-video-games-says-study/ It’s worth reading, but the key point remains: with makes the difference between wasting time and what the experts call teachable moments. As the article points out, this goes for all media.
Parenting tips for using the media for teachable moments.
Tip one: Remember age and stage. With kids who are not reading yet, particularly with toddlers and preschoolers, you basically want to teach right from wrong behavior. As I have said elsewhere, short and sweet does the trick.
Think kind, cruel or mean, safe or dangerous. I would also suggest Make Believe, Not Real, and Against the Law. Don’t get hung up if the little ones do not understand the words or the bigger picture. In time they will and you are planting important seeds.
As children age ask them to label the behavior.
With teens, ask them to explain the labels they give and start teaching critical thinking. You do that by pointing out complications as well as asking for the downside or opposite points of view.
Tip Two: Use video games to teach what some call life skills and what I call Emotional Fitness. How? Cheer the winning points, offer some “That’s Life” sympathy when frustration mounts, and always show how you handle failure as well as getting frustrated.
Tip Three: When a game stops being fun, stop playing and teach that games must be fun or else put a side. Winning is not everything.
PARENTING ADVICE ABOUT STAYING EMOTIONALLY FIT
Break time for most of us comes on weekends. However, whenever it comes, make certain you plan an extended laugh and play time with your friends and family, more me-time than usual, and a bit of time quiet time to strengthen your connection with higher thoughts about what matters
As always remember what matters, be grateful, and practice kindness by sharing and caring, For all you do to make the world better, thank you; you are making an important difference.
DISCLAIMER: Although built upon evidenced based practices, there is no guarantee my advice is the right advice for you and your family. Experiment, try my tips; if they are not useful to you try another parent adviser. You are the expert on you and your child; the rest of us experts on many different things.