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During weekdays, we all women of our block meet for a high tea. The most discussed topic is how to limit screen timings of kids. In the era of internet, mobile apps, high end gadgets, laptop and TV which is easily available in all household. Once considered luxury is now a common gadgets in all household irrespective of varied incomes.

I am a person who is open to frank discussions and I hold the parents responsible for introducing children different gadgets in their formative years. Later on when the children pick up the habit, they blame the innocent kids and it becomes quite challenging for the Mommies.

Baby playing with Mobile

Many Moms might disagree with my views but I will explain with the examples how parents are responsible to introduce them to these enticing gadgets and it becomes a tough challenge to wean them out of the habit.

Situation 1

When an infant grows to an age wherein he can enjoy semi solid or solid food, many Moms sit with their mobile tuned to video rhymes and the toddlers enjoy the animation and the Moms feed them easily without any hiccups.

The kid is an innocent brat and the colourful animation with music attracts them. In a bid to feed kids without throwing tantrums, Moms feel the task easy but gradually you are instilling a habit of gadgets. Somewhere down the line, an understanding sets in that if he/she cried or throws tantrums, they would be awarded with screen timings, eventually, it turns into a habit.

Here the parent is at fault and not the child.

Situation 2

Many parents keep multiple mobile and they give to their baby to play with and the other is used by Mom to talk with well-wishers and friends. Unintentionally, the habit is been instilled in the child by the parents. To avoid facing child tantrums, laptop or TV is tuned and baby is made to sit in front and the Mom gets busy in work or play, inadvertently, these enter into the child habit streams and once they grow, they resist if not provided.

Parents should understand that as you sow, so you reap. Discipline the child from their early days of childhood. The instructions should be laid in formative years and it should be followed.

Situation 3

Once I visited my relative and found their son busy playing games on laptop. I was there for four hours and throughout the boy played. He was mere 4 or 5 years. I could not hold myself and I asked his Mom why she was allowing him to play for such long hours. Her reply was, “Jio internet is free, paisa nahin lag raha hai. Jab chargeable ho jayega to nahin khelne denge.”

I felt pity for the Mom and the child and thought she was making her child habituated of virtual games without realizing how difficult it would be to check his habit. Thereafter, the innocent child will suffer for no reason.

The purpose of citing examples was to make Moms aware how we induce kids to various gadgets and when they become habituated, we abuse, scold or punish them.

In a world of high end gadgets and open connectivity, we cannot restrain them from using but definitely, we can limit the screen timing of our kids.

Ways to Restrict Screen Timing

My request is not to instil habit of using gadgets in early age 0-3 years to allure them for feeding or playing. In initial years, kids need time and care of elders. Don’t hook yourself on gadgets when they are awake till there is urgency. Play, sing songs and rhymes, get colourful toys and spend time with them. If you are working, then try to stay with parents or in-laws who can give time to kids. Keep gadgets away from them.

After 3 years, introduce them to TV for cartoons and fix hours of watching. Half an hour to one hour in a day is more than enough.

Once they reach in primary school, introduce them to gadgets for drawing and creativity, but don’t allow them to get hooked for watching movies.
Allot a specific day to watch animation movies or song trailers. This allowance will restrict their screen timing and instil discipline. In a way, they will develop patience and eagerness for the D-day to arrive.

As they grow, increase screen timings with limitations and don’t give them total freedom during holidays. It should be same in school days as well as holidays and bonanza can be announced in holidays for completing homework or behaving sane.

Check your screen timings as well, your overindulgence in gadgets will develop their interest because children imitate their parents and elders of the family more in whom they confide.

To check the children habits, parents and especially Moms should check their screen timings.

Stick to discipline and don’t give up in weak hours getting pissed by their tantrums.

My experience says that the kids are smarter than their parents and once they catch hold of your weakness, they will make you bow every time.

Valid disadvantages of using gadgets for long hours.

  • Creativity and imaginative powers of a child diminishes because they get used to readymade solutions
  • Don’t let them use gadgets for studies other than online learning program because they don’t develop tactics to solve problems

What I did as a Mom to limit Screen timing of My Kids

  • Till 3 years of age, I never used gadgets in front of them or for avoiding tantrums
  • I fixed hours of using gadgets according to their age requirements and I stuck to my promise
  • I gave my sufficient time to play with them, sang rhymes and songs. Instilled habit of drawing and coloring and kept engaged in arts and crafts
  • Weekly movies were allowed and I accompanied them while watching and now they have outgrown my lap but still we watch movies together. Being friendly with kids develops good bonding and trust in each other.
  • Invested in interesting offline indoor and outdoor games and encouraged them to participate which led them to forget virtual games.

Moms, do share your inputs as how you are managing? Do leave comments.

This post is a part of Momology blog train hosted by Thoughts by Geethica,SlimexpectationsMummasaurus and Truly Yours Roma sponsored by FirstCry Intellikit, Instacuppa, Diet Funda, Hugs n tugs, Tina Basu, Unorthodoxpeeps, Lotus Herbals baby and Shumee toys.

I heartily thank blogger Gunjan for introducing me in #Momology campaign and welcome blogger Jennifer to carry on with her blog post of the campaign.

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Comments

  • I agree with most of what you have mentioned here. But the habit of giving the child a phone actually did not start with an intention to ease out parental effort. I think it must have intially been a learning tool, to help kids grasp rhymes and other ealry learning concepts. But it has now catapaulted into a self made frankenstien

    • Dear Anupriya,
      Thanks for stopping by. I have seen Moms make kids sit in front of TV, Computer or hand them the mobile and distract their attention n feed them. The child, later on, gets stubborn if screen time is not shared with them.
      I believe the dictum of parenting should start from the cradle, I did the same with my kids and now my kids thank me for this.

  • These are excellent tips, Ila. Will pass them on to my ‘mom friends’!

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