< 1 min read
I think I speak for many parents when I say screen time soared during the pandemic. Recent studies also reported a dramatic spike in children’s media streaming and reduced physical activity.
What was the experience in your household? Did the pandemic ruin your family’s screen time habits or not? How are you teaming up with your kids to create healthier media habits now that things are getting back to normal?
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Sometimes I actually miss the pandemic days because I felt like we were being more creative in trying to avoid screen time. But yes, eventually the screen time increased, but I feel like it's a battle we would be having regardless. I think a big difference is that my kids are older now than when they were during the pandemic. Now, they understand that they need limits and they are open to doing particular things to earn more screen time.
My kids were 3 and 5 when the pandemic began, there was no reasoning with them, then it seems! But now, they have their limits on their tablets (they turn off after an hour). When that time is up, they often ask if they can read or do some math to earn more time. For now, this works for us! Plus, our schedules are just much busier now, so I really don't mind the downtime / screen-time at home.
To be very honest, it is not only kids who overly indulged in the virtual world. I sometimes feel that my screen time also increased a lot.
It has become very difficult to differentiate between essential uses of gadgets from time killing activities. Once the life started getting back to normal, I personally struggled with decreasing screen time. I had to consciously stop myself from picking up the cell phone for useless browsing.
Same happened to the kids. It has been quite a struggle.
First I had to work on myself so I could be a good role model.
Second we had to sit together to discuss how many hours of screen time should be allowed for the kids.
Third we also tried to differentiate between screen time for academic activities from leisure activities.
It is quite hot in our area these days, so kids cannot enjoy much outdoor activities. I have noticed that when kids get the opportunity to play cricket or badminton (or any other sport) they tend to forget about the screens.
I identify myself as a gentle parent, so I believe that at times you have to have a firm behavior to make sure that rules are followed. So, these days we have a box where kids have to put their gadgets for a certain time so they can enjoy family time and focus on their studies.
Not to mention, they also do the same to me