Thus, It is then important that parents select the digital platforms and programs wisely to ensure making Screen time meaningful for their children. I would suggest parents to have the following as a checklist when choosing programs and digital media for their children-
- Will your child be exposed to safe and developmentally appropriate content meant for his/ her age group? Exposing children to inappropriate content interferes with their cognitive, social and emotional development.
- Choose a media platform that helps you control and monitor what the child is viewing. An important aspect of parenting is to set firm limits, when you do that children learn to follow rules and are better able to have impulse control.
- Ads and pop ups are the worst security threat when your children are watching digital content.So, it’s essential to ensure that the platform you choose for your child is free from ads and pop ups.
- One of the most criticised aspects of media viewing for young children is the fact that it is ‘one way’, there is no interaction, and this could be an hinderance for their brain develop to its full potential.
- It is essential to choose programs that are a good combination of both entertainment and learning. It can be fun with some social values or fun with some cognitive learning or fun with some emotional benefits.
- Co-viewing content with your child and discussing the programmes will help your child understand different perspectives and will help you understand the impact the content had on your child’s thinking and learning.
You cannot keep today’s children away from digital media but what you can do is keep their exposure safe and holistic. There are very few platforms that are a solve for the above, one such example I have come across recently is the VOOT KIDS, also Early Childhood Association (ECA) certified. The app is curated ad free platform that provides fun learning across WATCH, LISTEN, READ and LEARN segments offering thousands of curated content pieces making screen time meaningful for kids by bringing together children’s favourite world of popular and premium toons, e-books, audio stories, nursery rhymes, picture books and fun learn quizzes and more.Making good media choices for your child helps ensure that you child grows up with an essential life skill- ‘technology and media literacy’.