My name is Mahima, and I am mom to a soon-to-be six-year old son. I share our stories on our Instagram page @mumma_aaru (do check it out!)
Even before I became a mom, I was aware of the vast distinction between our upbringing and those of kids today. I am sure every one of you moms reading this will agree – our childhood was all about the outdoors and nature, playing outside in the glorious sun, feeling the sand and dust on our feet as we screamed and played around with our friends (and cousins), hanging from the trees or splashing around in puddles during the monsoons.
But as time went by and I saw my cousins’ children growing up, I saw how screen time robbed them of their childhood. Agreed, the possibility of going out to play is quite limited now, however, I realized that when I had my child, I would ensure limited screen time for him/her.
So, when my son was born, I decided on becoming a stay-at-home mom for him. It was an available option for me and I grabbed it, because I was sure being a working mom and engaging with my child would be too difficult for me (KUDOS to so many moms who are effortlessly doing this!).
Being with my son all day meant I was his entertainer, teacher, singer and friend. I sang rhymes to him, taught him everything I could by showing them to him, in the real world. I loved talking to him right from the time he was born, and spent a lot of time just engaging in conversations with him. This was a boon for him, because this helped him start talking from an early age.
Where screen-time was concerned, both my husband and I were on the same page on it. We followed a strict no-screen rule for our son, up until he was three years old.
It wasn’t the easiest thing to do (trust me!) but we followed some tips and tricks which helped us in this journey.
The first thing to do is figure out ways your child likes to entertain themselves with and encourage that aspect.
- Introduce your child to age-appropriate books. The earlier they start engaging with books, the easier it will be for them once they start school
- Encourage your child to engage in self-play or self-entertainment
- A paper, pencil or crayons can be more than just stationery. They are innumerable ways to use these to entertain the kids (check my IG more more)
- Open-ended toys or games create a lot of scope for self-play
- Engage your kid in small talk, whenever they want to take a break from playing
- Start engaging the little one in your daily chores and ask them to help you with easy tasks such as passing the utensils, picking up the clothes etc.
These are tried and tested ways that can help you restrict your child’s screen-time.
By restricting my child’s screen-time, I was able to help him explore his creative side. He enjoys painting and colouring, reading books, identifying objects in the real-world and comparing them to what he sees in his books, helping me around the house and the fact that he gets to spend more time with us.
So, if you are looking for ways to restrict your little one’s screen-time, do give these a try and let us know in the comment below, what are some of the ways that helped you.