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Quality-time vs Screen-time for Kids

TV is a great way to keep kids engaged, no doubt, but think for a moment - Is this what you want to give your kids?

When you let your kids watch TV for long hours, you are giving them a lot of Screen Time, but not Quality Time. TV is a one-way communication, kids just listen and follow. They also unknowingly eat a lot of food in front of the TV. They also get fed a lot of unhealthy commercials.

Can we live without TV these days? May not, but nothing stops a parent from putting discipline on the time spent on TV. Keep it to a maximum of 1 to 2 hrs per day. Various studies point in this direction.

There are various ways of cutting down TV time:

  • Create the reading Habit.
  • Introduce them to activities - Origami, Colouring, Board games, etc.
  • Introduce worksheets - Puzzles, Maze, Matching, and Connecting dots are a great way to engage kids.
  • Educative Toys - Toys like Building Blocks have several benefits.

All these options, also help a parent spend Quality Time with Kids, and not just leave them to TV. Your child receives your undivided attention, to strengthen the relationship.

Cultivate the habit of reading. You can start this at a young age, by reading 15 minutes of the story every night. This has many benefits - you get to spend quality time with kids, kids get inquisitive when a story develops, and they also slowly pick up the reading habit. You should have a handy collection of stories in digital or print form for the daily dose!

Screen-Free Week is another popular initiative in this direction. Take a break from the TV and maybe go out with your children.

Stay away from screen-time apps too. Many of the current day Mobile apps are advertisement-supported, so they have incentives for kids to spend maximum time in the app. Try to reduce those, and pick the apps which give you want you to need in a short time - Maybe, you need to pay a small price for this app, but definitely worth it.

Concluding:

  • Reduce TV time and during that remaining TV time, Ensure you handpick the shows for kids to watch, especially in the early age.
  • Limit Kids Mobile apps for a specific purpose say like learning, music etc, rather than a way to keep kids occupied. Ensure the apps are safe and don’t show inappropriate advertisements or other content.
  • Help kids find other interests than just Screens!
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