TECHNO PARENTING IN ERA OF ONLINE SCHOOL
In this era of digital technology, it is inevitable to give screen time to young children. Technology is here to stay and children cannot escape it, they have to adapt themselves to online school. The real challenge is in knowing when to give, how much screen time to give and for how long to give. A parent who can find this right balance can shield children with right usage of technology fro effective techno parenting.
What are the advantages of screen time and online school for young children?
a. Social emotional development:
In such unprecedented times like a pandemic, screen time through video conferencing platforms is helping children to interact, express and socialise with friends and family. Children are physically distanced from friends and cousins which can impact the mental and emotional health of children.Screen time through a video call helps children reconnect and feel better.
b. Continued learning:
Schools are going live so that children can interact with friends and learn from their favourite educators. In fact this is bridging the gap between schools and children and making home-school partnership even stronger.
c. Cognitive development:
Children have access to a vast world of knowledge, endless learning opportunities and high-quality programs to improve literacy skills and enhance cognitive development. Learning is made fun with games, puzzles and interactive content.
d. Self paced development:
It is easy to revisit the content again at convenience. Learning happens when the child is ready to learn and absorb. This goes beyond the boundary of time or space.
e. Association of home environment with the online school:
Children can associate with learning during a online school by actually connecting with experiences at home and express about it to educators by showing these experiences live through screen thus strengthening the bond between educators and children.
Screen time is like junk food; too much can be harmful.We all know this yet but we still can over do it. As parent the real challenge is in understanding when to stop.
Tips to find the right balance
1. Consider and label few areas as techno free zones at home: Dining table, library room or bedroom etc can be treated as areas where usage of technology or screen time is not allowed. Restricting certain spaces will reduce the usage automatically.
2.Limiting time periods can reduce the usage of screen time: Avoid using technology in the first one hour of waking up and last one hour before children go to sleep.
3. Get the physicality right: The body posture, neck position, distance from screen all need to be monitored well and children need to be made conscious about the same.
4. Monitor the content being viewed by children: The content should be age appropriate and supervised by an adult. The content should encourage thinking, ignite curiosity and preserve the observation skills.
5. Never use screen time as a reward for good work: By using it as a reward; we are the ones who teach children to look forward for it. Use screen time as any other tool of learning like a paint brush or a pencil.
Screen time is fine in moderation. The trick is finding the right balance. Children learn and observe from adults. Be a role model by following all the set rules and maintaining the right balance so as to make technology work for you instead of you working for it.
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