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Covid-19 has truly changed life, especially for children. Long gone are the days when kids would regularly go to school, and gain knowledge in a physical classroom. That also meant more interaction with their peers and teachers. Today, the blackboard has been replaced by the computer screen, and the kids have had to adapt to this change. But their increased screen time between studies and play are worrisome!
Of course, this has left parents extremely concerned, more so from the point of view of their kids’ health. And screen usage is not just limited to school hours; kids today use tablets and laptops to complete their homework or even watch their favourite shows to unwind.
But experts have been clear that excess exposure to screen time can be detrimental not just for a child’s eye health, but overall well-being too.
It can cause headaches, eye strain, dry and irritated eyes.And the light emitted can affect the biological sleeping routine, which can lead to obesity, poor attention, pain, and irritability.
While giving the child some screen time may seem like the easiest but not the safest way to engage them, we reached out to some moms to ask them just how do they keep their kids away from the screen! And here’s what they shared.
“I think the best thing I have done over the past year is to create certain technology-free zones at home. These zones are where NO electronics are allowed. In this manner, we’ve been able to curb gadget use for our child. It was a little difficult when we started this at home, but my daughter Taniya is now pretty used to it. And she enjoys her time away from all kinds of devices.”
“We are back to a time when kids are again locked indoors and parents are working from home. And as we struggle to manage the right balance between allowing a child to watch TV and refrain from screen time, I feel it’s important to inculcate a habit of independent play. This is what I have tried to do with my daughter. We have a dedicated shelf where I keep activities for her. I have made some DIY curriculum-based activities on concepts which she is doing at school as well as other toys and games.
“I try and keep something new for her every week, or take out something which we haven’t played with for a while. Besides this, loads and loads of pretend play, sensory play, drawing and painting is how my son Ahaan keeps busy. Having a dedicated space for play also helps.”
“We have set aside a time for when Anya will use gadgets or watch TV. This is besides the time she spends on a laptop during school hours. It’s all about creating and following a routine, so that children know what to expect and when. This will also help to inculcate a sense of discipline, making them understand the importance of structure in their lives.”
“Although we don’t like to use this method, but there was no other resort. Our child became extremely cranky, after being cooped up at home. Of course, online education also became a stressor. To release this stress, she almost always turned to gadgets, and in no time, she became addicted. We barely said anything to her, but realized it was getting difficult for us to stop her. We had no choice but to install parental controls on all the devices. With time, she’s getting rid of her habit.”
“With so many apps available today, it’s so easy for kids to become dependent on electronics. But try to help your child to participate in activities that do not require a screen. It could be anything from playing outside, or even reading a book. You could also play board games with your child. Trust me, it brings the family even closer.”