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How Much is Too Much

15-Feb-2018

Jignasa Gala
By Jignasa Gala (Kohinoor Blossoms)

“My 2-year- old can unlock his fathers iphone” a mother said proudly. “And mine knows how to access his favourite game on our tab” said the other. It seems that parents have a certain fascination for their young children being able to operate gadgets like a pro. The generation of today is native to technology unlike most of us. Being raised in media-rich homes, their daily connect with the digital devices is automatically high.

Although, however innocuous as it may seem to be, the truth is anything but that. Everybody reiterates the fact that ‘The first 6 years of a child’s life are very crucial for his growth and development’. But ever wondered, HOW?

A child achieves numerous milestones in these early years of his life. He learns to turn over, stand, walk and accomplishes other major motor developments in the first 3 years. His brain too is absorbing information from the environment which is building his mental framework. Excessive exposure to digital life at this age can interfere with this natural progression. The radiation from these devices have harmful effects on the brain of a child. It also affects the social behavior of the child as he gradually retracts from his peers and family. He will like to spend an increasing amount of time on the screen. The child may unknowingly get access to unsolicited content which may not be appropriate for his age. The list is long and its effects can be detrimental.

However, intimidating as it may sound, the intent of this article is not to create fear in a parent’s mind. As a matter of fact, we are living in a world which has been exploded with the boom of technology. We cannot avoid the digital exposure, but we can sure restrict it to the best minimum as possible. I am sharing a few tips to limit screen time especially for children up to 5 years of age.

  • Lead by example – Children may not hear everything you say, but they sure observe everything you do. Avoid casual mobile surfing or unnecessary digital activity when with your child. The human touch will go a long way in building strong parent-child relationship.
  • Give limited mobile/tab/gadget access to your child with fixed timings. 10-15 minutes in my opinion should suffice.
  • Create simple ‘WE time activities’ with your child that he will look forward to. For example, take him along to buy groceries and involve him in the process, play a game of his choice with him daily, read a story book to him, involve him in any household chores, and so on.
  • Take the child for Outdoor activities like park, walk, etc.

And the most important of all ‘Follow your Heart’.

With minor habitual changes, one can make the parent-child experience, an enriching journey.

Happy parenting!!!