Technology can help children learn and stimulate them to think in new and positive ways, but it needs to be balanced with experiential learning in order to ensure the holistic development of a child, say experts.
Parents can, for instance, look at supplemental activities like gardening. Gardening can not only teach children new skills, self-confidence and responsibility but can also be a lot of fun for children.
Kashish A Chhabria, counselling psychologist and psychotherapist, and Hemant Mittal, consultant psychiatrist and counsellor, highlights some do's and don'ts that you may consider using as a guide.
- Monitor you child's media consumption, including video games, television, movies and internet. Make sure you activate the restricted mode when kids use the internet.
- Communicate with your child about what they observe in video games, television programs or movies. Ask them how they feel about the media they have access to and discuss it with them.
- Incorporate new activities into your child's life. These can be educational as well as fun. There are games available which teach children about gardening and the different types of plants found in India.
- Engage children in outdoor activities like nature walks and hikes to get them excited about the interesting flora and fauna prevalent in India.
- Do get down on the soil with bare hands and feet with your child. It is absolutely okay to be "dirty". (until and unless suggested otherwise by a health practitioner).
- Learn to negotiate, if your child demands the latest tablet or mobile phone for his or her birthday, give in to their demands provided your child agreed to go for a walk outdoors with you or spends 2 hours thrice a day playing a hands-on experiential game.
- Do not set up electronic devices in a child's bedroom.
- Do not allow unlimited access to media instead lay down ground rules. For example, place a time limit on how often or long a child is allowed to use an electronic device, including games and television.