The spread of the pandemic and the resultant lockdown has brought in massive changes in every single aspect of our lives. Right from our perspectives to the way we spend our leisure hours, almost everything has changed. And, some of the major effects of this change are being felt by our children. With the families engaged in social distancing and the schools going online, our kids are left with no peers to play with and no playgrounds to explore. As their daily routine goes through considerable alterations and enough free time is left on their hands, we understand that children are increasingly relying on TV, computer, or mobile screens to keep themselves busy.
While we believe that it is okay to add a few minutes more to their usual screen time given the current situation, we, at Vidsan Charterhouse, are also wary of the fact that this might just make them more addicted to these devices than they should. And, such screen addiction is something that we need to keep away from creeping up on our children. With that in mind, we have brought a couple of tips for the parents to help navigate their kids from feeling screen-addicted during the lockdown.
Balance their screen time with other constructive activities
Don’t let them turn to the tablets and laptops as the first resort when they have nothing to do on their hands. A great way to control their screen addiction is by keeping them busy with other work, such as helping you with household chores, cleaning their room, or reading a storybook.
Keep the rules in place about no-screen zones and times
When things were normal, and children were having a fixed routine, most parents had set rules in place about how they can’t have screen time during family dinners or after a certain time at night. We would suggest you not to relax those boundaries even now. It will help the children understand the value of things like family time and getting a good night’s sleep.
Watch media together with your children when possible
Watching media together with the kids will help you in talking through about what they are seeing. You can direct their attention to specific parts of the content and reinforce its important aspects. In fact, discuss about the media after you have watched together and ask them about their opinions about it.
Let them use their screen time to establish connection
Encourage children to use their screen time to video chat with their friends, relatives, and acquaintances instead of watching TV or playing video games. It will not just be a great use of their screen time, but also keep their spirits up at a time when they can’t actually meet the people they want to. Moreover, it will keep unnecessary screen addiction at bay.
Make sure to set an example by monitoring your own screen time
When it comes to ensuring that children don’t feel screen-addicted during the lockdown, you’ll have to set an example for them to follow. You’ll have to show them that the rules of limited screen time apply to you too, and even you can’t sit with phones at the dinner table or during family time. The children will follow your lead when they see that you’re abiding by the same rules that they do.
We, at Vidsan Charterhouse, a top ranking school in Delhi NCR, understand that it is easy to get trapped into a digital vortex now without paying heed to the amount of time being spent on the devices. But, it is necessary for the children, as well as adults, to monitor the media consumption because screen addiction is not as easily left as it is caught on. So, let’s spend a little more time with our families and ourselves during this lockdown and a little less with those screens, and encourage our children to do the same.