Put a few young parents in a room together, and you can be sure that within a few minutes or so the topic of discussion will soon divert to the dilemma on most parents’ minds: Screen Time! Questions like, how much is enough, do they even need it at all, and how the child is being affected by the medium – are all grey areas for most parents.
Every parent has a viewpoint on the subject and every parent has an unfailing logic attached to it. Frankly, I have sensible friends at both ends of the spectrum – the ones who truly believe TV is evil and that kids shouldn’t even get near it to the ones who think of TV as the salvation to all their problems ranging from babysitting to everyday tantrums.
The reality, according to me, as is always in life, is to be somewhere in the middle or as they say, striking a balance. Assuming that in this day and age, a 100% cut from technology and TV is possible, is an act of delusion. Schools start computer classes in 1st standard these days and if that is the case how does one keep the child away from the screen? TV and screens are the necessary evil of this generation and I feel that creating a balance is the key for sowing the seeds for your child’s healthy relationship with screen.
At our home, screen time has simple rules. Weekdays are only allowed for project and research for school work and over the weekend, an allowance of 45 minutes of TV and 30 minutes of iPad. Now this worked perfectly fine till I started realizing it’s not the TV I hate but the thousand and one ads that run on TV. Advertisements that tell me child that he will grow well if he drinks boost and he can probably forget all vegetables and other stuff. Ads that tell him that fat is ugly and that hands shouldn’t be washed for 1 min, well I can go on but you get the point.
Plus the quality of programs like Oggy who taught my son to talk in Hindi which scared me like shit, to give you an example. One day at dinner table the child told my mom “Kya mast khaana banaya re bidu” in the voice similar to hold your breath Shakti Kapoor. That is what scared me with his TV time and we struggled, we went and back and forth. I got him some CD’s that he got bored of and hence wanted to go back to TV again.
And then we discovered Teewe, which changed and eased the whole screen time situation at our home
Teewe is an HDMI media streaming device which transforms any TV with an HDMI port, into a smart TV via which streaming becomes a child’s play (pun intended) on your TV. It allows you to stream content from your phone, laptop, PC or tablet, right onto your television so essentially the control of what your child watches is with you.
The child can’t really wander on the internet which I think is any parent’s fear and yet the child is entertained, can play games, learn the stuff he wants on YouTube (mine loves to watch videos about underwater creatures and how the parts in bike and cars work), listen to music and dance with his friends or watch the good old Tom & Jerry. Its safe content with control in parents’ hands which I think is the only way forward.
So at our home we resolved the screen time tension with Teewe. You can do it too. Whether it’s learning about types of flowers or listening to nursery rhymes or catching a great episode of Mr. Maker, with Teewe the much desired balance and control is easier to achieve.
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