June 1, 2013

Blog-A-Prompt, Day 6 : NO

"NO, T!

Please don't do that."

These are the usual lines which I say atleast five times a day.

And what would T be doing? These can be a range of stuff which happens, from water being poured into toys or food being mashed to pulp or climbing on tables/chairs to get iPads and phones or attempting to open the fridge to get chocolates/cheese or fiddling with the door knobs/keys. Recently I was having a conversation with a friend, S, who has a son, a few months older than T, and we were discussing how do we keep these small people occupied through the day. She was saying that taking her son outside, letting him watch some cartoons, then some iPad time is what keeps her day moving and also helps her to get her work done. At this point, I should add that she lives in the US and hence she pretty much manages everything on her own along with her son being at home with her. In India, I have always seen the no iPad, TV time for kids being professed so extensively that the small bits that I do allow T is seen at times by some in a very wrong way. This certainly does leave me in a confused state. S was of the opinion that when teachers and schools now use online medium and videos to impart the same knowledge which was initially done only through a blackboard or books, then why are we, as parents, stopping our kids from being exposed to this medium. T has been sufficiently exposed to iPad (since the age of 11 mo) and now she is pretty much a pro at handling the apps and any new app for her is a matter of 30 mins of discovery time. I usually find a new app for her almost every other week, though her iPad time is restricted to only an hour a day at max. But, I know how much she looks forward to this hour and how she keeps reminding me of the same through the day.

I completely agreed with her, but then when does it come to the point of excess? When is it time to say NO to the online and screen time?


  1. Exactly! I don't believe in restricting TV completely for reasons of my own. My son is now 4.5 years old. We did not let him watch any tv or electronic media till he was about 1.5 or 2, i think. After that we started with 30 minutes per day - any kind of visual electronic simulation - TV or laptop.
    Now at this age he gets 1 hour, 1.5 somedays of the same every day. I do regulate what he watches and I keep it a mix of educating and just-for-fun stuff. But I think it is absolutely ok to let them watch some. Of course there are people who don't do any TV with kids, which is great. To each his own :)
    Here is another article which says what we are :) - http://www.slate.com/articles/technology/technology/2011/10/how_much_tv_should_kids_watch_why_doctors_prohibitions_on_screen.single.html#pagebreak_anchor_3

    1. To each to his own. But I like the timings... starting with just 1/2 hour... and even now at almost 5, the hours are max at 1.5.. thats nice.

      And as Aparna said, like the ' forgot to charge' logic too :)

  2. I think different things work for different parents, different situations :). I find that "forgetting" to charge the iPod for a few days now and then works wonders. They ask for it like crazy the first few days, then sort of forget ;). And are so very thankful the next time I charge it!!

    1. I am going to start forgetting too :) Though once I did do that, then she will ask for the same stuff to be seen on the laptop, at least the cartoon stuff. And I really cant forget to charge the laptop! :(

  3. Each child is different and hence parenting style also differs.. my daughter had no screen time till she turned 2. After that its only DVDs of 15 minutes at a time now totaling to max 45 mins throughout the day.
    But she is a child who is happy to play with her toys and books.. somehow even when the tv is on.
    She hasn't yet seen a movie completely at home or in theater. But I plan to change and start relaxing the rules once she turns 3. A movie once a week should actually be good for her :)

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  5. Hii Athira! Although I dont really have a son/daughter yet, it feels really nice to find parents who allow their child to get exposed to sophisticated gadgets. This can in a way help a child to learn to grasp new things more quickly.I understand why you go through that "confused" phase sometimes because I have been in situations where I have found parents snatching away their cellphones from the little curious ones. I think this article should be read by them to make them understand how a balance can always work! :)

  6. I would think the biggest worry is 'games'. I myself get addicted to ipad games even at this age, though thankfully the addition lasts about a week only, after which I either get bored or realized it's getting out of control!
    and I know as a child there were times I played too much 'computer games' and wasted entire afternoons watching TV, specially when 'cable' TV came home.. and Dhruv has wasted so much time on it. It's just about making sure it doesn't get into that addiction stage.

  7. I feel that any form of entertainment is fine for kids as long as they do not get addicted to it. At the least, they should be distracted from something to something else frequently. So, your one hour restriction is very good - Kids can have good fun during that hour and they don't get bored of it either.

    One thing I have noticed is, people allow their children to watch too much of TV or play online games for a very long time. This is wrong because kids need to spend sometime outside/with other kids, and away from the LCD monitors.

    Destination Infinity


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