The June cover story ‘Ready, set go for new school year’ was informative and timely. For most parents, beginning of the new academic year is a stressful time and expert advice to make the preparation process smooth is most welcome.
The health guide to seasonal illnesses put together by paediatricians Dr. B. Nandesh and Dr. Satish S.R. was also very useful as was the list of eco-friendly school supplies. But we need more options which are affordable as well. Teachers and parents must make conscious efforts to inculcate respect for environment within children and a good starting point is to use eco-friendly paper, pencils and other stationery items. The advisory on choosing school bags and limiting electronic screen time was also excellent.
Digital eye strain dangers
The early childhood story on protecting children from digital eye strain was revealing and educational (PW June). Today’s children are digital natives and spend disproportionate amounts of time before computer screens, tablets, smart phones, etc. Unfortunately parents are also using tech devices as baby-sitters and don’t supervise the screen time of children. I am also guilty of doing this, particularly when I want time alone.
But as the well-informed ophthalmologists have warned in your story, excessive use of digital devices causes ophthalmic problems ranging from eye strain to myopia in young children. In many cases when young children become myopic, there is always the risk of progressive deterioration.
Parents should protect children from digital eye strain as the dangers of excessive screen time far outweigh the benefits. I have resolved to reduce the screen time of my children from three to two hours per day.
Include entrance exam deadlines
Your Careers Watch section on jewellery design (PW June) was enlightening. It’s so encouraging that the young generation has the option of exploring a whole range of new-age careers such as jewellery design.
In our time, medical, engineering and teaching were the only options available. My two teenage daughters love reading the careers and recipes sections in your magazine. It would be good if you added a section on competitive/college entrance exam deadlines and scholarship news.
Parental guilt challenge
Parenting in the Google age is a huge challenge, especially when both parents are working. We get help from extended family, day care centres and house helpers. Some of them may not be as perfect as we would like, but we have to manage. We do our best to provide the best to our offspring. Still we struggle to stave off the parental guilt. We do want to be the perfect parents, yet we don’t want to give up on our careers. It’s a difficult balance.
You need to write a story on how parents cope with the many modern-day parenting challenges including parental guilt. I know many of my women colleagues wallow in guilt because they are unable to do justice either to their work or children. It’s not the same for men who are not expected by society to be hands-on parents. It’s working mothers who bear the brunt of societal and family expectations and the primary responsibility for child-rearing.
Profile budget travel destinations
I enjoy reading your leisure and travel stories. The June story on the Lahaul and Spiti valleys of Himachal Pradesh was beautifully written. However you need to profile child-friendly budget destinations for short trips. Many parents with young children such as myself prefer short weekend trips as it’s difficult to travel with toddlers.
Also please introduce a section where parents can send in personal stories about their parenting challenges and how they’ve overcome them. Sharing such stories will help other parents facing with similar challenges.