Let me start this post with a little background information from when my daughter Ridhima was about a year old. Until she turned 1, she had no access to any screens no tv, no mobile phones etc. Once she turned a year old, we started limited time of TV with her, around 15-20mins a day, nothing more than that. This might sound redundant but I’m against all those cartoons that have no quality content, and no language quality in it. For example, Chota Bheem, Doremon, Oggy and what not. I don’t find them entertaining and least are they teaching any good deeds to our children in today’s day and age. So those type of cartoons are totally banned in our house from the beginning, even for our child guests 😉coz we don’t subscribe to those channels at all. So we started with Baby TV.. I’m and my daughter too, are a huge fan of this channel. The shows are small and sweet and every show has a message in it or atleast good quality content. The graphics and the cartoon characters are very relatable to our daily routine, the illustrations are mesmerising. So we watched #BabyTv for around 1. 5years and then we gradually moved towards Disney Junior channel. I find this content also worth the time spent watching the shows. Nowadays we spend about half an hour(coz 1 episode is almost 30mins long) and occasionally about an hour on the screen and that’s it. This is how much we allow in our home,with the sole purpose of entertainment. Because let’s face it, everybody in this world needs some space and some downtime for ourselves, and yes even our toddlers do need that space.
Okay,coming back to the questions I get about Screens. Questions like, should we allow screens or completely shut them down, how much time is enough for young kiddos, how much is too much and etc etc. Let me answer these briefly here in this post 👇
1. In today’s Technological World, we can’t refrain our kids from the ever evolving technology. It has become a necessity of our 21st Century. Everybody needs to know how to operate a computer 💻, how to send an email 📩, and so many more things that we do everyday. So, in my opinion, I would not want to keep my daughter away from all these important skills that she must know gradually and according to her age.
2. For Babies, Yes. There should be NO Screen Time at all coz it may inhibit their growth.
3. Strictly, we follow NO Screen Time at Meal Times. But if we are out and about like in a restaurant or someone else’s home for meals and they have the screens playing as the background we cannot totally avoid that. But at home, we don’t turn on at meal times.
4. Having everything in right proportions is the key to healthy screen time. We don’t keep tv playing all day long in the background, instead we listen to audio books, and music if we feel the need. Hence, screen time at my home becomes very limited. Also, we as parents have full right and control over what our kids are exposed to when they are on screens. So do choose your shows wisely coz it has an effect on the little brains. Watching documentary, national geographic, historical, and science shows will build on our child’s knowledge bank and improve their vocabulary too. One quick tip, Turning the channels on English language mode will have good influence on them as Listening is as important as Reading and Writing in English. I do the same at my home.
5. Trust Your Child – This is for older kids. I know as Desi people, we don’t usually trust our child’s choices as we think that whatever wrong is gonna happen in this world will happen to our kids only. 😂 But let’s face it, we need to trust our Parenting first and then our child too. Both are crucial building blocks for a healthy bonding between parents and children. Giving back the responsibility to our kids to choose from will only make them so capable and confident in their choices. Yes, ofcourse we need to make them aware of the good and the bad choices according to their age and understanding. So let’s give our children the liberty to choose for themselves in whatever way we can! 😊
I’m keeping this discussion open for all the parents out there in #ojahcommunity to pour in your thoughts and what works for you at your home. And let’s be kind and generous to everyone’s approach!
Happy (Limited) Screens! 😊