What must be done to avoid ‘screen addiction’ in children using electronic devices for online classes?


Team Udayavani, Oct 16, 2020, 2:13 PM IST

As COVID-19-induced lockdowns made mobile electronic devices essential for children’s online classes, parents are concerned that excessive use of mobile devices might lead to addition to them.

What precautions should parents take to avoid addiction?

Dr Preeti Shanbag, a psychiatrist at Mangaluru explains:

– Usually, children have offline classwork along with online classes. Parents must, along with their children, schedule for them screentime and non-screentime. Children should go online only when their teachers are online. The offline schedule must be clear on spending time for doing homework.

– In case if there are two or more children and multiple devices at home for them, and if not all the children have online classes at the same time, then only those having an active online class must be using a device. Keep other devices offline and out of reach.

– Parents, while they are at home with their children, should play indoor games with and develop hobbies in the children.

– If children are using devices at other times than their online classes, then parents or other household members at home should monitor them. Make sure that the monition does not look as if the child is being suspected.

“Children using mobile devices is nothing new. However, earlier they would get to use the devices only after they come home from school. The present need for online classes has made children be attached to their mobile devices, and if both parents are working then it is difficult for them to focus on their children. Mobile devices use can be addictive. However, it is not impossible for parents to draw their children’s attention away from the devices and engage them in other playful activities.”

– Dr Preeti Shanbag

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