Like any other 4-year old, my son, David, operates YouTube better than my wife and I do. While him being on busy on the phone helped us run a lot of errands, it was disturbing to see the addiction a 4-year-old had developed, this is was an eye opener for us.
My wife and I are outdoor people and have been one all our lives. We run a website on power tools, so while I was busy using a chainsaw to complete my next wood cutting project, my 4-year-old was busy with subway surfer.
This deeply disturbed me and I asked David to come see my work. Now, this worked well for a few days but since there was no engagement for David as these tools are dangerous for kids to use, he got bored and eventually craved back to Subway Surfer. My wife and I were deeply disappointed by this and were clueless what to do next. That’s when a member of our local construction group told us about toys power tools available for kids.
We had a big laugh about it, as to why we couldn’t think of this first. Next thing we know is David has his own chainsaw, a toy chainsaw! As much as this seemed like a fairy tale, it wasn’t!
David was not interested in this toy and well why would he? Isn’t it much easy to sit on the bean bag and collect coins without moving an inch? Now, this is the most important part, you have to be patient and give your kid time to adjust to the new idea of spending time. We let David pick the chainsaw himself without any hurry.
Pro-tip: kids do have a natural curiosity towards anything new they see, sooner than later they will pick up the toy and try to explore it.
So exactly after 13 days (yes we were keeping a count!) David started giving the chainsaw a try. He would enact the actions I was making and in no time I could hear him laugh like I had not heard in ages. We would do small projects together that would keep him busy for hours without the thought of Subway Surfer.
And although this is just a small start, I am hopeful that we will keep finding many more outdoor projects and activities to keep him busy while running my website successfully.
We have since a lot of changes in his attitude, for example, there has been a visible reduction in his tantrums when he is not given a smartphone.
For us the next step is to avoid giving him a tab, just to make him eat food faster. While these changes are initially uncomfortable for even parents to adopt (yes as adults we love the easier road, don’t we), it’s worthwhile when your son looks forward to Wednesday-Woodworking with Daddy!