6 ways to strike a balance between the Screen and the Green.
Created by Ankita A Talwar Updated on Jan 20, 2020
How to strike a balance between the Screen and the Green.
We’ve heard enough about how screen time is making our children dull; how it is bad for their eyes, hearing, and mental development; and how we are creating a generation of attention-deficit children, thanks to all those fast-changing shots on a screen & therefore the solution is often a tussle between parent & child on how much screen time is ok. However, ask any urban mom, who is in a nuclear set-up and has a house, a child, a husband, and maybe even a job to manage. Ask her how important screen time is for her and you are in for a ‘no-surprise’. For most urban parents, TV or screen time, is as much a saviour as it is a pain—the time the child is glued to the screen, is the time for the parents to wind up house chores, have a cup of tea in peace, talk to a friend on the phone, and perhaps even feed a child (the child is glued to one spot after all, and does not bother what is going down his/her throat) So, though, we crib about how the child is on the screen all day and is becoming aggressive, we sometimes struggle to strike the right balance. Here we give you 6 ideas on how to move children from screen to green to strike a positive balance.
1) Use technology to make memories: Why should an I-pad be restricted only to watching content & playing games? Propel your child towards making it his best friend for taking photographs, logging in special events and dates, building albums using apps and tools, and maintaining journals. But for this, he will first need to collect memories. Ask him to carry it on a trip, or shoot pictures of flowers from the garden, or simply look out for the tiny, and near-extinct, house sparrow, shoot a picture and then find out how these birds can be saved.
2) A technology themed adventure: A technology themed adventure can provide an equal balance between technology and nature. Such as the app Ubooly (www.ubooly.com/rangerrick) lets kids turn a walk in the park into an interactive experience with scavenger hunts, nature hikes and mindfulness games.
3) Use tech to plan a trip: Ask them to do some research on the computer for the next upcoming family trip. Let them use social media to ask friends for suggestions, or look up travel sites. This will make them look forward to the trip as they will feel in control.
4) Nurture Hobbies: Ask your teenager, who is constantly hooked to her smart phone, to look for some recipes, that she would like to eat for dinner. Once identified, take her and her phone along for grocery shopping and then involve her in the cooking process. She will be in the real world with you, but along with her tech friend. So, no war here.
5) Identify Interests: What is it that your child loves to watch? Dora and Boots out on an adventure, or is it Diego on a wildlife mission? If this is where the little ones heart lies, take them on a real adventure, the Dora style! Tell them that we are going on a Dora adventure. Plan a trek to the hills, get your child a little backpack, load some Dora songs on the ipod, and get along. On the trek, keep putting up questions for your child to think and apply his mind. For example: If you hit a boulder on the way, ask him “Do we go over the boulder or under the boulder?” or “Spot the red flower tree”.
6) Teach: Is tech your child’s passion? There is some useful information too on the internet that the child can learn from and apply—for eg: changing the deflated tyre of the car, building a bird house out of recycled bottles, caring for a pet. The next time, your child’s bicycle has a puncture, she might be willing to change it if she has the video in youtube playing before her.
While we cannot totally block technology from our child’s life, we can help them use it to create learning experiences for them and ensure there is a positive balance between the virtual world and the real world.
Disclaimer: This blog is a special initiative by parentune to help parents with ideas on how to move children from screen to green to strike a positive balance. This blog has been supported by YOUREKA.
| Jan 14, 2015
Thank you so much for the article mam. My son is 2 years old and now itself he is so fond of mobile phones. At times i'm so worried about his interest with mobile phones. Now after reading this article i got some hope that i have some ways to divert his interest over mobile phones.. Let me try with the ubooly first...