Tuning out is a highly touted stress management technique and one can see it has been gaining even more traction these days thanks to all the anxiety brought about by the pandemic. But more specifically, the term refers to disconnecting from the greater surge of information that is the reality of our digital age. It has become a major topic of conversation among parents who wonder just how much this information should shape their family decisions, and the way they raise their kids.
Of course, this is far from saying that there is no useful information to be gained from our increasing connectivity. In fact, that’s precisely another benefit to tuning out that many people overlook! Much like with real noise, the ability to filter out irrelevant information is an important function of our brain. It is tied with auditory processing, as well as our ability to balance and integrate information from our senses.
On the other hand, the theory can differ from practice. With all the turbulent cultural, political and economic shifts happening right now, it can be difficult to say if you have really learned to tune out everything that does not contribute to your raising your children.
Fortunately, these tips can serve as a really handy guide.
#1. Focus on your family’s most immediate environment.
When looking through the news, it’s important to first keep in mind what any headline can mean for your environment. Is it talking about something happening in your city? Does it specifically mention the name of your employer, or the school your children go to?
If not, then it’s best to move on and focus more on the things that have an immediate impact on you in your own environment. This can be the essential services classified by your local government. It can also be measures your workplace is arranging to keep business going without creating additional health risks. Any piece of news that does not entirely impact your day-to-day life is really not worth stressing out over.
#2. Reduce exposure to the social media news cycle.
Cutting off all social media from your family is not a practical solution. However, you can start limiting exposure to it and reduce its use in your household. For instance, you can practice ignoring the newsfeed and instead shift the focus on using social media as a communication tool.
Another way you can do it is to schedule social media chat only to certain points of the day. Family members should also be guided accordingly and use it only for talking with close friends. Refrain from participating too much in more public group chats and forums. Many social media networks are pretty heated nowadays because so many people are now online voicing their frustrations over many issues. But as serious as those are, your family’s peace of mind should be the top priority and it is far healthier to reduce exposure to the social media news cycle as much as possible.
#3. Actively curate the content you’re exposed to.
Content curation refers to the ability to filter out the way social media presents content you may be interested in. If you ever remember signing up for, say, Instagram, and asked to choose from topics that interested you, that’s how content curation is set up.
This is important because it is through curation that you can further reduce exposure to stressful, irrelevant online information. This can also apply to streaming sites like YouTube. Adjust your online curation settings to only feature things that can help you and your family relax. You can just change your settings to feature people trying out new recipes, posting artwork or teaching others great parenting tips for quarantine.
Lastly, let’s also not forget that parents should really seize this chance to bond with their kids at home. If there is one thing that can cause children to binge too much on the internet, it’s the lack of interactive parenting that seeks to understand them as much as guide them.
Get your old board games out. Read stories together. Have fun with your children! Make sure to always let them know that you are there for them in ways a screen could never replace.
If you need any advice or support, then know that we at the Australian Tomatis Method are still here to help you. Please reach out if you need to, either by email at email@example.com or by phone to Francoise at 0414 444 915.