3 year old Arvind comes back from school, throws his bag and shoes on the floor and flops on the sofa to watch his favorite show. He is fed and changed while he is busy watching his favourite Chota Bheem series. After close of three hours, he falls asleep in front of the television. After his nap, he creates a ruckus in the house with his vocal chords and destructive habits. His parents feel lost.
8 year old Niravaan has regular fights with his sister over the choice of channels. Since they have only one television set in their house, their parents are often unable to watch the programmes of their choice. One would assume that it would tone down their agony, but the fights have now permeated to other areas of their lives.
4 year old Nathan has been termed a hyperactive child- all because he is too energetic and unable to sit still for long. A doctor had diagnosed Nathan with AHAD, but luckily, a second opinion told them otherwise. The parents took away the screens and voila, could connect with their child like never before. Needless to say, there is a marked improvement in the child’s behaviour.
So, as parents and educators, we have seen it all and we agree that screen time ought to be limited. But try telling that to these evolved souls-especially the ones for whom screens have become a way of life. Uprooting a screen addiction is never easy, but only a mom can do it!
Moodiness. Restlessness. Strange cravings. Incoherent speech. An inability to focus on tasks that require concentration. Emotional outbursts. These qualities may be used to describe a person on drugs or trying to quit smoking. They also perfectly express what my four-year-old daughter is like after a two hour Disney movie. – Nicole Crawford
Here are some suggestions which may be useful to you while you de-addict your child from the screen lures.
· ANALYSE the eye movement
o Fill up the following few statements are you will get a fair idea of where you stand
§ My child watches a screen for ….. hours every day.
§ My child watches a screen for ….. hours on weekends.
§ % of waking hours spent……
o Get the children to fill up a log of their TV viewing to document the number of hours spent watching television each day. Awareness brings about transformation. Chances are that your child will be shocked himself!
· CHOOSE your poison
o Be it the modes of entertainment (TV/IPAD/TAB/MOBILES/VIDEO GAMES) or your child’s dream come true (Dora/Diego/Doraemon/ Chota Bheem), get your child to choose. They need to know that they can’t have it all. So, just as you prepare a timetable for your child’s daily routine, let them set a TV routine of their choice every Sunday night. My 6 year old surprises me with her choices all the time –all because she knows that she has only an hour at her disposal and she better choose a program that is guaranteed to make her emotionally satisfied.
· RATE your choice
o Rating tools like Imdb may not obliviate your child’s craze for the screens but it gives you a filter to know what suits your child’s age and sensitivities. We generally avoid programmes with a rating of 6.5 and below. Also, there is a tab-Parents Guide in the website which gives a rating to the program from a parent’s perspective.
Also, there is a tab-Parents Guide in the website which gives a rating to the program from a parent’s perspective. You may choose to protect your child from such images/scenes/programmes.