Future, here we come!
The COVID-19 pandemic has changed EVERYONE’s life dramatically, no exceptions. It has only been a few months, but the way of life as we knew it seems to have gone through so much change to the point of no return. Post COVID-19 times will never be the same as before and we need to adapt, whether we like it or not. One of these things is the further reliance on technology, or screens to be more precise, when it comes to providing education and entertainment for our children. We, millennial parents, have always been told to be careful with the use of this “electronic pacifier” on the little ones. It should be rationed in small doses and ideally not expose it to babies under 18 months.
Rules for the New Era
But hey, desperate times call for desperate measures! Parents nowadays have never faced greater challenges in juggling between work and home as these two places merge into one. Suddenly, the screen became the “necessary evil” for everyone’s sanity during lockdown and social distancing. All the previous screen time guidelines are out the window and we find ourselves having to use our own better judgement to navigate these unchartered waters. Not only for the kids, even for us adults we are now staring at our computers at all hours of the day, so I think some ground rules must be there to put structure to this new era, for the sake of the entire family.
Photo Credit: Jessica Van Gaalen - @j.vangaalen
So, if screen time is inevitable for the kids, the only control we have is the content that we expose them to. This short video from BBC certainly convinced me that if we make use of the screen time in a stimulating context that promotes imagination and creativity, our children will benefit immensely, of course along with other daily activities such as sports and play times. The trick is to avoid passive consumption of this medium that doesn’t encourage analytical thinking or improve social skills.
Fall is upon us, all schools (in one form or another) have started and us parents need to get back to a more routine work schedule (be it at home or even back in the office). Limiting screen time becomes even harder when it is the most important tool for learning and the only way for them to maintain some sort of a social life with their friends. So after doing my fair share of research, online(where else!), to see how to manage this delicate balance, the most helpful advice came from this article that sums up everything for me: don’t get so uptight about screen time, as long as you can maximize your child’s learning experience through the correct content in the appropriate context.
All is good, Namaste, and Stay Sparky!