It’s been almost two months since my kids are at home. It’s a tough time to be a kid now, isn’t it? My little ones cannot go out to play or meet their friends, they are literally locked down in the house the whole day. So initially, both of them started watching TV or playing games on the cellphone. One hour became two, two became three and at one point in time, they were glued to the screen for hours. After talking with other mothers, I figured out, they were struggling with increased screen time for kids too, and I had to think of a way to tackle this.

1. Set example: Sorry to start with the toughest one, but there is nowhere else to start. Kids learn from observing and seeing what elders around them do. So, I decided to reduce my time on cellphones and TV, and read storybooks instead and it’s already working on my kids. Sometimes I read out stories to them too.

2. Don’t discourage, regulate: Let’s be honest, we need to limit screentime, not stop them completely. So, I ask my kids what their favourite cartoons are and I don’t stop them from watching those. But once they finish the episode, I switch off the TV and discuss the episode with them for a while to take their mind off the TV.

3. Play with your kids: Think about it, this is a once-in-a-century scenario and kids aren’t mature enough to understand the situation. Parents are the only friends they have. Hence, I make it a point to engage them in some kind of family activity, like play board games or play hide and seek.

Remember, the secret is to not let them get bored and hence keep them engaged productively. I always try to place myself in their shoes and it becomes easy to tackle them. With small preparations like these, I have reduced the screen-time for my kids significantly. With the right preparation, no challenge is too big to overcome – in association with ICICI Prudential Life.

COMP/DOC/May/2020/65/3599

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