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Thursday, June 24, 2021

Are online classes increasing your child’s screen time?

The obvious answer: yes. From attending online school to managing boredom during the lockdown, more and more kids are turning to their screens. But is it really all that bad for them? Let’s find out.

By: Parenting Desk | New Delhi |
May 15, 2021 12:29:47 pm
Online EducationWith schools shut across the world, millions of children have had to adapt to new types of learning. (Source : Getty Images)

It’s been over a year now that your kids wake up every morning and put on their school uniforms. But instead of heading to the bus stop for the school bus, they turn on their computers to attend school online. To add to that, their free time, which was once taken up by extra-curricular activities, is now also spent at home. So, it shouldn’t come as a surprise when they connect to the outside world through their screens. As an adult, you do it too. But as a parent who has always regarded digital exposure for kids with restraint and reproach, you are naturally worried about the amount of time your kids are spending on their screens these days.

Allow us to address some of your concerns:

Isn’t so much screen time bad?
In the past one year, education experts from around the world are slowly but surely moving towards the view that it is not the screen time that matters. Rather, it is the kind of content that a child consumes, that affects his or her wellbeing. Therefore, it is very important to differentiate between productive and unproductive screen time. While the latter often refers to gaming and passive consumption of videos, productive screen time is about engaging children in the process of learning. And that cannot be harmful. Online classes play a huge role in making screen time productive.

But isn’t extended screen time bad for the eyes?

This is a valid concern. Largely because the blinking rate goes down when we stare at the screen, causing the eyes to feel dry. Proximity to the screen and the eyes is also a matter of concern. But there are solutions. Laptops and computer screens, which require you to sit at an arm’s distance, are more suitable for kids than tablets and mobile phones that tend to be held closer to the eye. As far as the blinking rate goes, taking sufficient breaks mitigates this problem. For instance, staying hydrated and following the 20-20 rule, wherein after every 20 minutes, one must shut their eyes for 20 seconds is a great idea.

Doesn’t screen time lead to a sedentary lifestyle?

Again, it all depends on the content your children are consuming. After school, if your kids are spending their time sitting in front of the computer playing games and watching movies or videos, then they will have a sedentary life. But if you engage them in an online fitness class or a dance class, then their screen time will promote an active lifestyle.

Therefore, if screen time is used responsibly and correctly, it can actually benefit your child in numerous ways.

Eureka by The Indian Express is a platform with online classes for kids between 3 to 12 years of age, that aim at enriching their minds and sharpening their skills with host of fun-filled activities like cooking, Zumba, art & craft, juggling, music, drama, storytelling, soap-making, fitness, dance, magic and more!

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