Regulating children’s social media usage

PW invited parents of Gurugram’s Blue Bells Model School, Sector 4 and Brahm Dutt Blue Bells Public School, Sector 10 to share insights on how they regulate their children’s social media usage

“We mentor, rather than monitor our children on social media usage. During the pandemic years, social media helped us remain connected. Our daughter Mansi, a class VIII student, developed the expertise of completing school projects with enough time left to interact with peers using digital media. Since the time schools have reopened, we have kept a check on Mansi and limited our screentime as well. We strongly believe in practising what we preach. We are also very thankful to her teachers for organising workshops on the pros and cons of social media usage and the benefits of limiting screen time. Today I can proudly say that Mansi maintains a balance between screen time and family time! — Pratima Chauhan, teacher, Brahm Dutt Blue Bells Public School, Gurugram

“I believe the best way to free my daughter Goohika (class X) and son Tanmay (class VIII) from today’s web of digital gadgets is by reducing screentime ourselves, spending quality time with the children, and helping them identify their passion for various activities. Developing hobbies like playing indoor/outdoor games, reading books, and involving them in household chores help children utilise their free time in productive ways without relying on digital gadgets. Children are too young to take decisions and need substantial hand-holding. Till then, it becomes imperative to be their friend, and mentor who makes them feel loved, wanted and keeps them busy” — Dr. Shivalli Joshi, teacher, Brahm Dutt Blue Bells Public School, Gurugram

“As technology continues to shape the world, we cannot distance our children from its usage but can make them understand how technology can be used responsibly. I make it a point to test the apps which my son Neerav (class VI) uses and we play online games together. In my opinion, technological inventions should come with disclaimers so that parents can explain to their children the negative impact of addiction, distraction, cyberbullying and reduced physical activity. By keeping away from our own digital devices and spending quality time with our children we help them acquire emotional intelligence, critical thinking and problem-solving skills.” — Manvi Gupta, edupreneur

“Social media platforms can’t be kept away from children nowadays especially after the prolonged schools lockdown of the pandemic years. But of course, children must be guided on how to use social media moderately for entertainment and learning purposes. I keep a check when my ten-year-old son Smyan sits in a corner with a mobile in hand. There is always a clear instruction of the time limit and I check the content he views. As of now, I am not that anxious as he mostly watches clippings of table tennis matches to learn the nuances of the game that he loves.” — Paramita Banerjee, teacher, Blue Bells Model School, Gurugram

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