Question

Childhood Behavior

My 4-year-old needs gadgets during feeding times and gets upset when we take it away from him. What can we use to calm him?

What the Expert Says

By Cheryl Ng

Director of Paper Scissors Stone Montessori Kindergarten

Children’s Behavior Expert

14 years’ experience in teaching and working with preschool children and parents.

To minimise your child’s use of iPad or mobile phone takes time, patience, determination and most importantly, consistency but it’s important that you do this in the early years.

Active Interaction helps

Engaging interactions with your child has proven to be a powerful tool in cultivating his mind and supporting his language and cognitive development. You may also engage him in purposeful hands-on activities which keeps his mind occupied with active thinking and problem solving.

Out of Sight, Out of Mind

The transition from using mobile devices to engaging in hands-on activities takes time. It may have to be a gradual process. Children learn best through modelling. For a start, try leaving the devices aside so both you and your child can focus on other activities that you have planned for the day, without the need to refer to your phone. He may not show interest in the early stage. But as long as you stay consistent and show interest in engaging in other activities and persist on, you will get there.

Listening and understanding what they are trying to tell you or why they behave in a certain way helps in better communication with your child. Acknowledge their feelings and state your expectations clearly. When they feel that they are understood, they will be ready to listen and cooperate.

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