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    Preschool and Primary

    Expert Answers - Managing your Childs Screen Time and Gadget Use

    Expert Answers - Managing your Childs Screen Time and Gadget Use

    If you have queries regarding your childs screen time and gadget use, then on 25th July 2019 ask your questions to School & Family Counsellor Arundhati Swamy, who has over 35 years of experience in this field. Post your queries between 12:00 PM - 2:00 PM and get all your answers by 6:00 PM on the same day. You may choose to post your questions anonymously too.

    Team
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    • Tue, Jul 23, 2019, 02:18 PM

    Comments

    Preeti Jul 23 2019

    As we both are working and can spend less time at home, have to manage all the household works too so to keep him busy I give mobile to him. What else can be done other than mobile which does not require my involvement?

    Preeti Jul 25 2019

    @Preeti Dear Preeti Its not easy being a working parent and having to manage the home too. You would like to give your best, at home and work. Because each day is so different at home and at work, you can ease the stress by deciding on your priorities for the day. Much as your child is always a priority in your mind, you do find it hard to spend time with him so the mobile becomes a convenient baby-sitter for you and many other parents too. Most mothers return home after work, to a list of things to be taken care of. Those things become a priority over children. A parents involvement is most important for their childs growth and development. So its best that you replace the mobile with none other than yourself! Lets see how we can help you become involved with your child and still manage the home. As soon as you get home, make eye contact with your child and greet him cheerfully. This helps both of you reconnect with each other and he enjoys the attention you give him, even its for a few seconds. Then, when you tell him that you need a few minutes to rest your tired self, he will understand. Invite him to sit or relax along with you, but dont insist, especially if he is busy doing something. Next, while you get busy with your work, share a story or two about your day; get him to help you with small tasks, it makes him feel important and capable. Let him spend time with you in the kitchen, being near you and helping you as you go along. Have fun conversations, sing along, laugh a lot. You will be surprised to see how these moments melt away your tiredness and guilt. Building strong connections with your child builds his trust in you, makes him feel secure and safe. It takes just 10 minutes of your time each day play a small game or just have some silly fun together and watch how your child and you bring happiness to ach other. And you can allow him a fixed amount of time on the phone. Just make sure that you monitor what he watches and ask him to share the story with you. I hope these suggestions are helpful. At first your child may wonder about the changes you make but he will definitely feel so good when you connect with him every day. Enjoy!

    Preeti Aug 22 2019

    @Preeti These options are really helpful, being a working parent it is absolutely necessary to spend sometime with the kids. I chose to work from home option so that I can spend more time with my son. Getting this previlage is not easy but one must try to snatch some quality time from their busy schedule to spend with their kids. Take them to a park, play with them, make crafts, color something are some of the engagements you can be involve with. Thank you maam for sharing the tips.

    Rashmi Aug 4 2019

    My son is 8 years old and is highly addicted to playing games,watching videos on YouTube ,which is affecting his academics and he keeps thinking about cartoons etc all the time,it has become uncontrollable. He watches horror videos on YouTube and later gets scared by little things. He s almost lost in a virtual world how to avoid this?

    Rashmi Aug 12 2019

    @Rashmi Dear Parent, your worry has prompted you to seek help, which is such a good thing to do, especially when you see how your sons life is being affected. Lost in a virtual world means that he is disconnected with the real world. Its going to be hard for you to draw him out of this addiction on your own. May I suggest that you consult a counsellor experienced in working with gadget addiction. If you need references, we will be happy to help.

    Jyoti Jul 24 2019

    Hello Madam, I want to ask that nowadays there are so many educational apps available, so instead of decreasing the Gadget usage time, we are actually asking the kids to stick to the gadgets and study with these apps. How reasonable is this? Whats the solution for this? Thank you

    Jyoti Jul 25 2019

    @Jyoti Dear Jyothi Thank you for asking this very important question which seems to be on the minds of many parents. Lets first understand the development that is happening at this early childhood stage of life. Physical development movement helps your child gain motor control, strengthens his muscle and bone development and improves whole-body coordination. Running, tumbling, jumping, are the best activities for your childs physical development. Language development is helping him build communication skills - where he uses words to communicate or express his needs; to ask questions and tell you what he thinks about many things. He learns to listen to music, tells little stories that stimulate his imagination. Your child needs to interact with people for these skills to develop. Sensory development to see, hear, smell, taste and feel. Indoor and outdoor play help your child develop all his five senses where he becomes curious about what he sees and hears, asks questions, thinks and talks about his experiences. Social-emotional development playing with other children helps him make friends; follow rules; become aware of how his emotions such as happiness and anger impact others. Children indulge in a great deal of imaginary play which helps build their creative thinking. Your child needs lots of play and interactions in the real world. It builds a strong foundation for formal classroom learning as he grows. Do keep this important point in mind when you decide how much gadget time you want to allow for your child and what purpose will learning through gadgets serve for your young child. It would be nice to hear from you again to share what decisions you take to enhance your childs learning experiences.

    Jyoti Jul 26 2019

    @Jyoti Thank you madam for sharing this insight about the childs overall development

    Team Jul 26 2019

    Dear Ms. Swamy, thank you so much for your time, patience and attention to detail. We are sure the session has been of immense help to all our parents who have shared their dilemmas and concerns with you. Our heartfelt gratitude to all parents who joined us for the session. We look forward to hearing more from you and supporting you in the journey called Parenting. You can keep asking your queries, share your experiences and guide other fellow parents in our Circles. HAPPY PARENTING!!

    Jeena Jul 25 2019

    Thank you Ms. Arundhati Swamy for taking up our queries. My query is, how can we ensure that the kids are exposed to the right content online and through gadgets? For example, though we do monitor their usage, I often do see ads popping up while watching any rhymes video etc. How do we ensure that they are exposed to the right content?

    Jeena Jul 25 2019

    Team Jul 25 2019

    Children tend to take advantage of when it comes to their grandparents. Parents, we tend to be strict when it comes to gadgets and time spent.but my nephew who is a 5-year-old, tends to get her grandmothers mobile and starts fidgeting with it. Grandparents tend to give away with all of these and are not being strict about it. What do we do?

    Team Jul 25 2019

    @Team Dear Parent I couldnt agree with you more! There are many conflicts with grandparents when it comes to raising children. Grandparents tend to be indulgent and seem to have a way of breaking some if not all the rules that you lay down for your child. Frustrating, isnt it? But take heart. Grandchildren have a way of getting into the hearts of their grandparents too! But we wont let that get in the way of your very real concern. Most times grandparents are not aware of the negative effects of generously giving into their grandchildren. So, lets leverage their love for the grandchild. While its alright for your nephew to use the phone under supervision, excessive use can interfere with his development. Rather than expecting his grandmother to know this, patiently explain with examples how excessive use of gadgets can cause problems in language development, emotional expression and social interactions, sleep and physical health. Surely she would want the best for her grandchild. However, despite all efforts, some grandparents may not be able to understand and cooperate. In such cases, its best to let the child know that though he has unlimited freedom with his grandparents, he cannot enjoy the same with his parents. Hope this is helpful.

    Roopa Jul 25 2019

    Hello Maam, What are the things to consider while setting limits for gadget use? What is the recommended screen time for different age groups?

    Roopa Jul 25 2019

    @Roopa Dear Roopa Glad you have asked about setting limits for gadget use. We all know how immersed we can become with gadgets, losing track of time, people and responsibilities. Setting limits for ourselves and for our children helps us regulate gadget usage so that we stay in touch and dont get emotionally detached with people and everything else around us. While setting and enforcing limits for gadget use for our children, we sometimes run the risk of triggering uncooperative or defiant behaviour in them. Heres where a Family Media and Digital Plan comes in very handy. Do follow this link for more information: https://www.aappublications.org/news/2016/10/21/MediaParents102116 You may find yourself in situations that require you to be flexible about the limits you set, as long as the rules are followed most of the time. How much of screen time is too much? While there are recommendations, its helpful to consider this in the larger context of your childs life. Is she active, getting enough of sleep, eating healthy (not in front of a screen), playing indoors and outdoors, connecting and communicating with people, curious about things around her, eager to explore and learn new things; making friends? If not, its time to reduce screen time so as to accommodate more face-to-face interaction; increase movement and play to keep her active; take her outdoors so that the environment stimulates her interest and curiosity. Here are a few guidelines for screen time: For children 2 to 5 years of age: Limit screen use to no more than 1 hour per day. Choose media that is interactive, non-violent, educational, and prosocial. Co-view with your child and have chats about you are viewing. Hope this information helps you become a successful digital parent!

    Pranati Jul 25 2019

    Good evening Maam Please enlighten us about the dos and dont s of gadget use what are the specific technology literacy is required for children of different age group which will be beneficial to them.So that they will feel empowered. what are the guards to educate them for online security. What is the thumb rule to cap screen time according to different age group . Thank you for this initiative.

    Pranati Jul 25 2019

    @Pranati Many children today are addicted to smartphones and laptops. But, do you know how much screen time is permissible? This interview with family counsellor Arundhati Swamy will tell you!

    Mousumi Jul 23 2019

    Till my son was in school we never gave him a mobile phone pre nursery class children are too small to be given gadgets . At home we used to monitor him when he was on the phone or computer . He got his first mobile in college .

    Mousumi Jul 25 2019

    @Mousumi Dear Mousumi Thank you for sharing your parenting experience about gadgets. Parents do learn a great deal about parenting from fellow parents. Shared experiences offer new ideas and perspectives. The decisions you took for your child were probably based upon many things such as your family rules, and expectations, your knowledge and understanding of the impact of gadgets on a growing child and what you thought was best for your child. Things work differently in each family. Technology and gadgets have become an integral part of our lives. So its quite difficult to keep them away from our children. The way forward is to regulate gadget use in children, not deny it completely. The latter can lead to conflicts and stress between parent and child. Mousumi, its good that you monitored your sons phone and computer usage. Its alright for parents to make a deal with their children about privacy limits.