Teach your child to appreciate time alone.
Updated: Feb 28
Friends are important in our lives. In this digital era, we are ever more connected to our friends via social media.
While here at Genie we acknowledge that everyone need friends, and that there are tangible benefits to exposing kids to the internet and social media, we also believe that all parents should ensure that our kids are capable of being alone, away from friends and their phones, without feeling distraught.
Being away from friends or social media gives us a chance to be with ourselves and provides us with valuable opportunities to become a better individual.
1) Being alone gives us opportunities to Self-reflect.
Why is self-reflection important? By reflecting, we can grow as an individual. We give ourselves a chance to review our experiences, the good and the bad, and draw lessons from them.
It trains us to think more confidently on our own, as compared to over-relying on others (friends, internet forums) for quick and often not-well-thought-out advice. We are also able to set up action plans to improve ourselves.
In the world of social media, we are easily distracted by a constant influx of information on other people's lives. We do not have the mental capacity to look inwards to ourselves. Being alone creates such room.
2) Being alone increases chances for Creativity
Creativity requires you to look at things with fresh perspective. This often means reading a new book, taking up a new hobby or going to a new place.
Unfortunately, many a times trying new things can be difficult when we are with friends as we often have difficulty coming up with a consensus on what to do and where to go. We simply end up giving up trying new things all together.
Social media also soaks up a lot of our energy to try new stuff. We often find ourselves too mentally and emotionally fatigued after scrolling through Facebook, Instagram or even TikTok to go do something.
3) Being alone boosts Productivity
Blocking out friends and social media distraction temporarily gives us the frame of mind we need to achieve difficult tasks. This could be an art project, a school assignment or simply cleaning up the room.
A constant need to be surrounded by or at least be in constant contact with friends on social media could be very distracting and it either takes up our attention to do a good job or drastically increases the time needed to accomplish a task.
If we have the strength to be alone, we can accomplish more with greater quality and in shorter time frames.
Being alone doesn’t mean that we’re lonely. Our social media environment pressures kids to keep up an appearance of having many adoring friends. This is a social stigma that must be addressed from young. We should remind our kids that having quality friends is always better than having too many friends.
And why it is perfectly fine to take time to work on ourselves.
As a quote from Gandhi goes:
“We need moment of quiet from the rush of people and expectations to put our experiences in perspective. When we compare ourselves to those around us, we can’t see the bigger picture and we lose the sense of where we fit in the world”
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All the best to you on your parenting journey