I had this Q &A sessvion few days back and the most asked question was about screen time.
I thought I’d address it here in a post.
The thing is ‘Technology is their future’. Ready or not, that is the truth.
Tech skills are slowly being added to the survival skills and our children need that for their future. They need to be prepared.
They need to use tech to learn, evolve and use it for their betterment. We can’t shun away from that. We cannot make it a forbidden fruit which I think might backfire.
Having said that, we as parents have control on what tech/devices they get to choose, what content they get to watch and most importantly how long they are using it. Given the kind of addiction that comes with screens, children need our help to help them manage their screen time.
And most importantly we can model on how to use it right.
I mean I use it for my work. They see me use my phone for Instagram, work on my laptop and watch Netflix or use my Kindle to read.
But they also see me how I don’t pick my phone when I play with them.
They see that I leave my phone elsewhere when they need my attention.
What I am trying to say is, it is a tool and we decide how we use it. Not the other way around.
How do I moderate it for them?
1. Giving the freedom and opportunity to use screen. I am sure if Maria Montessori lived today, she would have also advocated freedom within limits when it came to screen time.
2. Allowing them a weekly movie. Sometimes as a family. Sometimes on their own while we nap on Sunday afternoons. Love Disney hotstar for that.
3. Giving them daily screen time. I usually decide when that happens – it is mostly when I am tired and need some calm moments for myself.
4. No devices after dinner. No matter what. They get to read or play on their own. I also try to wrap my work by evenings, so I am available for them if needed.
5. No phones. Only TV. We have a fire stick(no cable) and I have the control. If we are using BYju’s app, I try to mirror our tab to the TV.
6. Provide more alternatives to screen. For us it is usually books, toys and board games.
7. We have certain shows and documentaries that we watch on repeat. Like Brain child, Connected, explore countries series and some amazing resources on YouTube which we use for our geography learning.
8. Use the screen more for creation. I intend to teach them digital sketches or take online music/art classes in the future.
What do you think?
Do you have trouble with managing screen time? Or are you on top of your game. Let’s talk 😉
Please note that these are my thoughts and it is okay for you to disagree. Just be kind on your comments please 🙂