Technology has woven us itself in its web in such a way that we now days cannot do without it. TV, cell phones and our computer have become an indispensable part of our lives. The entire world has moved to the digital world. The databases have been moved to cloud storage and every information now a day is available online. Many mothers use technology as distraction method of feeding. The children do not eat until they see rhymes on the cell phone or their favourite cartoons.
An average adult head weight about 4-5 Kgs and this weight is supported by tiny bones of our neck. When we slouch over at an angle of 45 degrees to look into our mobile that’s equivalent to placing a 22 Kgs of stress on the neck. This can often lead to cervical, backache and much more. Imagine these numbers with our children. Their bodies are still under development and this kind of stress can be really harmful to them as they grow.
Why is screen time bad?
- children carry a higher risk of obesity
- have a harder time concentrating in school
- are less social, and more aggressive
- have less energy
- have disturbed sleep
- being influenced by advertisements
Next time, do the below – when your children ask for their screen time. follow the below tips to know how you can provide an alternative.
Knowledge is power and as parents, we can use this power either as a positive influence or a negative influence on our children and us.
So, here are some simple steps to avoid screen time –
- Walk the Talk – If you want your children to lessen their time spent online, you will have to show them how. Ditch your mobile phone and computer and take a walk with them, play a game of football, teach them how to cycle or skate. Build a castle or read a storybook or just sit and talk about random things they experience in school. When they see YOU using less of technology, it enforces the thought that you want to convey.
- Set a limit – everything in limit should be OK. Watching TV for about half an hour or playing one game on your mobile is not going to hurt. Set the limit and mean it. Switch off the tv or take that cell phone as promised away! If you do not follow what you say – the children will always think that it’s ok to extend the time and parents will be ok with it.
- Engage Kids in activities – Most kids feel bored at home and hence turn to TV or mobile. Plan interesting activities like visiting a zoo, a museum, board games, helping household chores.
- Let your child earn the screen time – in case if the child is really keen on using screen time, you may give them small chores to complete at home. Like, maybe cleaning the fridge, washing vegetables, cleaning their room, watering plants. Feel free to add as per the age of the child.
- Talk and decide as a family – Decide this as a family so that everyone agrees that screen time should be minimized and co-curricular activities should be increased. enrol your children in new skills – like swimming, karate or robotics – or may be in a singing, dance or an art class.
- DIY – create DIY’s taking ideas from youtube. there are very good children DIY channels that are easy to follow step by step
- Bedtime routine – switch off TV/mobile at least 1/2 an hour before children go to bed so that the brain can ease itself into the relaxation mode
- spend 15-20 minutes every day meditating with your children
- try to watch TV with your children, and once the programme ends, challenge them for a question- answer round. this will encourage them in their thinking abilities
- do not allow TV to keep playing in the background as it is a big distraction
As like with everything, a balance is necessary, in the same manner, screen time also requires you to take a stand and create a balance between how much is allowed and how much is to be avoided.
What do you apart from the above tips to keep your children away from the screen?
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Until next time –