Vacation is a happy time for all age groups. As counselors, we have observed that these days vacation is not so happy time especially for parents. Nowadays they are horrified with vacations as children are at home and they don’t know how to make the best use of this free time and it adds more if both the parents are working. Along with this, the biggest challenge which parents are facing is screen time.
In this episode, Ms. Swati Salunkhe gives tips on minimizing screen time during vacations. Screen time includes spending time on watching TV, playing games on computers, laptops, tabs or mobiles. More and more apps are coming up and there are exciting tariff plans also. Technology has become a part of life; it has become one of our organs.
So, to reduce the screen time, firstly have a discussion. Parents need to make their child understand the problems of excessive screen timings. Second, setting a limit to screen time, parents need to have a specific time for the screen it could be half an hour or one hour. Decide it as a family and stick to it. Set a timer. Make it a bit inaccessible, Parents need to have certain passwords or controls while accessing the gadget. This will ensure the time limit and when the children are using the gadget.
Offer different alternatives like playing board games, learning a new musical instrument, dance forms or learning new recipes, gardening, baking, etc. Vacations can be for one month or two months or a few days. But you need to have predetermined show timings and once decided both the parties have to abide by it.
Another thing that can be done is to have a common place for screen time. This will help in monitoring what the child is watching and absorbing. Invite friends to play. There can be play time with friends but with no gadgets and it is important to ensure that this is informed to other parents as well. During vacations when you are traveling out in India or abroad you need to have these rules set while traveling also. There is no point going out and sitting and watching television or eyes glued on a screen. Explore the places you visit.
Most importantly for the parents – be a good example. You yourself have to restrict yourself with your screen timing because kids observe what is practiced at home. Hence limit your screen time or office work at home. Otherwise, time yourself when the child is sleeping or is out for any outdoor activity. And most important is even if the child is bored, it is OK and it’s alright. The children need not be entertained constantly. Ensure that the child does the household activities or develop a new hobby or improvise on the existing ones. Make vacations with everlasting memories. Simple vacations are best remembered.
If your child is facing issues of mobile / computer gaming addiction, then we can help you address such issues with our personal counseling session.