by Tasneem Dhinojwala
We quit screen time and it saved our kids, read on to know my story on how technology impacted my daughter’s behavior and how something I did made a huge difference to our lives
The idiot box in our homes can be quite a curse if our child happens to get addicted to it. It not only turns them into passive couch potatoes, but also mesmerizes them to a point that they can no longer do without it. And the children’s programmes that are on air are mostly teaching the kids about violence and being loud.
It was the same story in my house. My daughter was so much addicted to the television that even a five-minute without TV would make her groan and complain that she was bored. So one day I thought enough is enough and decided to take action. The initial period was tough but gradually the results that I gained were worth the hassle.
Here is how turning the TV off in my house made a huge difference in my daughter’s behavior:
Though it took a long time, but turning off the idiot box did finally teach my daughter some patience. Earlier it was screaming for things sitting on the sofa and demanding food and water. But now she not only waits, but also helps around in the kitchen and gets me a glass of water when I ask for it. She has learnt to be patient and wait for things to happen even if it takes longer.
2. Learnt to keep herself entertained:
Earlier it was taking resort to television for hours during holidays, because she would be bored most of the time. She wasn’t able to think of things to do if the television was switched off. Every two minutes she would come back to me grumbling that she was bored. And television was the only means to keep her entertained. Now she is learning slowly and steadily how she can make use of her time if she is not watching television and that getting bored sometimes is alright.
Another change that I noticed after turning off the television was her attention span and focus. Till some months back, she was not focused and her attention span for any other activity then TV watching was extremely limited. But over the last two months I have found her more attentive and focused in her academics and extra-curricular activities.
4. Outdoor activity:
Once the television is switched off, the kids will definitely go out and play. And my daughter did just that. Her outdoor playtime increased, I had more kids coming up and ringing the bell to ask her to come and play with them. She started exploring new games and learnt new ways to entertain herself.
5. Interest in studies:
Instead of playing hooky she started taking interest in studies. Although she is a good student and does well in class, she wasn’t interested in sitting down and studying on a daily basis. Though she was into reading storybooks, but schoolbooks were a complete no-no for her. It was again the problem of her attention span. But with the TV time gone, she slowly started getting back to her schoolbooks too.
Scientifically too it has been said the exposure to screen affects children in multiple ways. It is important to cut down on the screen time if as parents we want a healthy psychological, emotional and physical development of the child. If one is not able to manage total removal of screen time, then atleast it should be limited.
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