How to engage kids in Good Screen time !!!
This is one challenge that our parents didn’t struggle at all with, it’s a modern-age parenting problem. Sometimes I feel giving gadgets to kids is a “To Be or Not To Be” issue. If you give them gadgets and they use If for long time or if they play or see a non- age appropriate game or content then it is a concern for any parent, similarly If you deny the access completely then the FOMO creeps in for parents as well as kids. Other kids talk about trends, apps and the kid is looked down upon.
With the gloomy year of 2020, the screen time has become normal. Still as a parent I always try to either minimize the screen time or at least make it a quality time spent or a good screen time. Here is what I do to ensure Good screen time:
Leading by example is the best way to teach kids anything. I wanted to learn Indian classical dancing for a long time, so I started an online class and my husband started learning Piano in an online class. This motivated our kids also to get started with a hobby. This was a positive way to keep them engage as well as encourage them to learn something new.
Many parents are hesitant about online game. Although all the games are not misleading or violent or vulgar, some games and gaming sights are safe for people all age group. Playing games online can help in analytical thinking, problem solving, General knowledge as well as making kids competitive. All these skills come handy when we are into a real life situation. For online gaming I trust Plays.org. This website has hundreds of categories right from games related to Science, geography, geometry, strategy, memory, art, health and many more.
Sesame Street, which is one of the most popular and most watch kids series also appears on this site with not just one or two but overall 42 different games from identifying shapes and colors to exploring the markets and shopping.
Blogging or Journaling:
Writing a dairy was always a trend. Even I have done that as a kid. My son has a blog page where he sometimes writes but does not publish, he calls then Venting or talking- to- self posts. He is a teenager, I do not expect to share everything he feels right away with me, many a times he himself is confused with his feelings, but at the same time I want to give him a window to pour his emotions out, vent it out. Writing is a great way to do that. Journaling online is also similar to blogging online, however its more creative.
As a parent what precautions you can take to ensure a good screen time:
- No bolting doors: Every house has some rules, some never miss a dinner together some don’t miss the Sunday church, I ensure that no bolting doors. Whatever they are doing in their room Parents must have free access. I respect their privacy but I am responsible for their Safety online as well as offline too.
- Block certain websites: block your child from being exposed to any form of content that might not be appropriate for his/her age.
- Put a Schedule: Routine and schedule is important in every part of life. Binge watching is not good for Adults and kids alike. It can cause weight gain; irregular sleep schedules as well as it may distance kids from real-life friends and make them asocial.
Apart from all these things to ensure good practices for Good screen time, make sure you know friends of your kids if they play and use social media platforms. You can not ban or refrain use of online games hence go for trusted sites like Plays.org as well as monitor the kids virtual activities. As a parents we have to guide and teach kids how to be responsible offline as well as online.
If you have any more tips for a Good screen time, do share. In the meanwhile check out my latest post on a Thriller The curse of Kuldhara by Richa S Mukherjee. It soon coming out as a web-series.