HT Brunch Game Show: Which young parents are checking screen time best?

  • The ones encouraging board games, those pushing for creative pursuits or the ones enforcing strict non-study screen time restrictions? And you?
Simran Oberoi and Satbir Singh Multani Parents to Arjan, 8 and Noor, 4
Simran Oberoi and Satbir Singh Multani Parents to Arjan, 8 and Noor, 4
Updated on Sep 11, 2021 09:54 PM IST
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By Rewati Rau

Simran Oberoi and Satbir Singh Multani

Parents to Arjan, 8 and Noor, 4

Screen time per day?

Online classes for three hours, with 15 minutes extra. Plus, Arjan’s weekly online chess class. On weekends when there are no classes, he gets 30 minutes of television altogether. 

When you ask him to switch off the screen...?

He fusses. But firm messaging about the overall impact of screen time on his well-being and alternative forms of keeping him engaged, help me keep it n check. 

What does he do when not online?

He reads, cooks and bakes. He also cycles outdoors twice a day, and uses skateboards at home as well. He cleans and care of plants every two days. 

Has virtual school made reducing screen time tougher?

Virtual school means that children are not as mentally engaged and physically spent as when they go to school. And screens are quite addictive. 

Shruti and Ankur Agarwal

Parents to Anushka, 9

 

Shruti and Ankur Agarwal; Parents to Anushka, 9
Shruti and Ankur Agarwal; Parents to Anushka, 9

Screen time per day?

A maximum of 30 minutes beyond her virtual classes, including TV and anything on the mobile. 

When you ask her to switch off the screen...?

She pleads for a “little” more time,of course. 

What does she do when not on the screens?

After her initial resistance to switching off the mobile or the television, she reads books (we have ensured an ample supply), plays board games and spends quality time with her grandparents. She has also started going out to cycle since outdoor activities opened up a little. 

Has virtual school made reducing screen time tougher?

Earlier, reducing screen time was not always tough. But virtual school has really forced children to spend time on the laptop and the mobile phone. It will be difficult to get them away from this habit once normal school resumes.

Deepak and Prachi Kalra

Parents to Aarav, 12

Deepak and Prachi Kalra; Parents to Aarav, 12
Deepak and Prachi Kalra; Parents to Aarav, 12

Screen time per day?

Two to three hours daily for classes, 30 minutes of the mobile for games, 15 to 20 minutes on the laptop and occasionally half an hour to an hour of television.

When you ask him to switch off the screen...?

He resists a little before returning the phone but he knows his time limit. He doesn’t make a fuss when asked to switch off the TV.

What does he do when not on the screens?

He is a voracious reader. We also play cards and board games and go cycling together. He does a lot of quilling work: he makes earrings for me and I’ve even used his quilled flowers to make cards. A lot of time is spent on completing school work.

Has virtual school made reducing screen time tougher?

Because of virtual school, screen time has increased. Otherwise, it was not tough.

The Expert

Nooraa Sinha

The Head of Department, Well-being and Counselling at Shiv Nadar School, Noida, Nooraa works closely with school kids

And the winners are…

Prachi and Deepak Kalra

‘Maintain a balance of physical & cognitive activity’

“It is admirable that all three sets of parents have been able to set firm boundaries on digital time and are being able to implement them. Prachi and Deepak Kalra are the winners for the reason that discipline often becomes challenging as children grow and having maintained boundaries with a pre-teen is a tough one,” says Noora Sinha, Head of Department, Well-being and Counselling, Shiv Nadar School, Noida. “They’re maintaining a good balance of physical activity and cognitive activity. Encouraging quilling is deeply valued as often crafts are stereotypically a girl’s domain. Parent inclusion in activities as well as individual activities are great,” she concludes.

From HT Brunch, September 12, 2021

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Tuesday, October 19, 2021