It was two years back and we were searching for a good play school franchise for my son, I had already started working from home but my curious little son won’t share his mommy time with my laptop. Being the brand ambassador of team shortcut parenting, I thought I should keep him busy with something if I want to get any work done. While the idea of keeping him busy with activities was smart, but the activity I chose WASN’T!
What started off as a mere 30-minute screen time session, soon turned into a Doraemon marathon with my son binge watching cartoons for 3 hours straight! Soon, there came a time when I couldn’t break the habit that I created myself.
From nonstop pleading to earsplitting tantrums he was doing everything he can for another hour of screen time. I was in need of a lesson in parenting and luckily I got acquainted with Ms. Shreya, she is involved with an advanced preschool accreditation organization by the name of QualityKG. They accredit the best preschools and the best play schools with their preschool curriculum accreditation.
SHE GAVE ME THESE FANTASTIC TIPS:
The Parents’ Role:
If you stop your toddler from doing something and you keep doing it yourself, they will point it out. If you restrict them from something, they expect you not to do the same thing. So, try to limit your screen time as much as you can because, in the end, you’re the one who’s supposed to set the example.
Avoid Smart Gadgets:
As educational as you may think they are, don’t give your child control over phones, tablets, and iPads. Try to keep the grown-up gadgets out of their reach and let your children know that these are not their toys. If you want them to have screen time, limit their time. Make sure they are sticking to the time limit otherwise you’ll end up replacing TV screen time with gadget screen time, both being equally detrimental for your child.
Maintain a Schedule:
As tempting as it may be to leave your toddler in front of the screen so you can do your work or chores in peace, avoid it. It’s very harmful. Try to make a schedule and give them the allotted screen time as promised.
I have learned from my friend at QualityKG that children could learn a lot more outside as compared to sitting inside in front of the television every day. Ms. Shreya once shared an article with me which said that many families in Italy encourage their children to help them in the kitchen while making dinner. I was inspired, and I tried that with my son. Now, he helps me in making cookies or with the breakfast. You can also ask your children to help you in the garden or with any other small (child-friendly) activity. This will keep them busy, and they will be able to learn something new.
In the end:
After cutting down the Doraemon hours from my son’s daily schedule, I personally saw a number of positive changes in my toddler. Take a new approach and start involving your toddlers in activities like drawing, sculpting with play-doh, or reading stories to them, these are the activities that’ll help them learn and grow while keeping them occupied.
Before I go, I’d like to say screen time is not all bad. In some countries, it is used as a learning tool to make children learn rhymes, stories, and numbers – but the key is TIME LIMIT. Remember –Too much of anything is good for nothing!