A fresh start of the month of May for everybody! I have written and article before on Smart Start Session’s Weight Management Workshop, and now I would write about one of our recent learning sessions I attended which is about kids’ screen time in relation to parenting.
To clear things out…
I’m not married and I don’t have kids, but this is a good learning session for me since I do teach kids who are very much into games and gadgets. I also have two siblings who are basically the same with other kids in terms of gadget consumption. It’s vacation time, thus, the chances of kids playing their gadgets would be higher (as I see at home) so let me share what I got from that learning session.
Before I share my insights, let me tell you something about the speaker first. Ms. Diana Almeda is an HR specialist in an international bank, co-founder of Childsafety Headquarters (their website is still under construction but you can see some articles in the blog section), and a mother. Childsafety Headquarters is an online community which empowers modern day moms to protect kids from online dangers.
Ms. Diana discussed what we need to know on parenting kids regarding screen time. Along with that, she engaged the small group with activities to show us what generation we are in now. We played Guess the Smartphone App/YouTube Shows and got a prize afterwards. Well, after I played the game I realized that there are some that I am not familiar with yet and those are shows that kids nowadays watch. Surprisingly there are a lot of kids who watch YouTube as compared to our generation who watch cartoons on TV.
I would also like to share my insights with some games such as Minecraft. I have a student who plays this (and I used to play this too) and I could say it’s a strategy game that enhances your creativity in building something out of the things that you have. However, my student kept on disclosing to me how some players tell him bad words in the multiplayer mode (if you enable it, you get to play with anyone internationally). With that, I also felt like, no matter how a game enhances the creativity of a child, a parent’s supervision would always be needed.
Parenting Ideas on Kids’ Screen Time
Ms. Diana showed us some ways on how do we limit screen time for kids. I enumerated some that I had taken note of:
- Set an off-limits zone for gadgets. It could be the bathroom, the playroom, the dining area, and many more places that parents or elders would decide that it is such a distraction to use their gadgets. I remembered that the best off-limit zone for gadgets would be the bedroom. The body clock of the kids would not be disturbed and cyberbullying is avoided when they’re alone with their gadgets.
- Have a gadget-free day. It may be a walk in the park, dine out with the family, to name a few. Parents could be as creative as possible to think of ways how to enjoy the day without using too much gadgets. Remember, our parents were born during the time that people aren’t too connected with their phones, but still enjoying life.
- Stalk your kids. And yes, this is serious, especially if they’re too young. It doesn’t mean invading their privacy. Ms. Diana told us that you could create a Facebook account and be friends with your kids and just keep an eye on what he/she posts. Sometimes, your kids might hide their posts from family members so better have a spy on the cyberworld.
And be creative with your gadget-free activities and penalties! As seen in the photo above, she discussed this photo that she saw online on how to discipline kids on their gadget consumption. You don’t have to be too strict with your kids in parenting. Be friends with them, but of course, show them your authority.
Before ending our session, we did share with our small group our takeaways for the learning event, as seen below.
I’m always looking forward to learning sessions like this! Even though it would take me some years to be a parent, I could utilize this in my profession as a teacher. You can also use this with your siblings, nieces and nephews, cousins, and you can make a difference in kids. Remember, kids do what the elders do, and if you’re there to set off a good example, inspire this kiddos even in these simplest ways possible.
See you on our next learning session!
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