Use Screen Entertainment To Enhance Learning for Kids – #Youtube Kids
I suffer from the most common dilemma that today’s parents to toddlers have. How do I keep my kids away from the ‘SCREEN’. Until a decade back, it was easy to limit kids’ screen time when screen meant only Television, or at the max a personal computer. But with the advent of Smartphones and Tablets life for parents has become almost a screen time nightmare. Some parents call in guilty of using these modes of screen viewing as a way to distract kids and keep busy without bothering them. But there are some who find themselves in a helpless situation, because their toddlers pick up screen habits without much supervision. Addiction to screen entertainment is one of the major parenting concerns in this age.
For some time, I decided to curb my kids’ screen watching habits by putting aside my mobile phone and not using it in front of him. But that did not deter him from picking up his grand-mothers mobile phone. I was almost in a shock when I realized he no longer needed any supervision to navigate through the browser and figure videos to watch. It was then that I changed my approach to screen entertainment. I realized that there’s no point curbing it or fighting it out. I had to work in unison with my kid to create screen time entertainment a positive experience. Here are three simple steps to how I have done it –
Set Up A Routine
Like other activities in my Kids’ daily routine, I have set a time and place for screen time watching. My boy watches 15 mins of kid relevant content once he is back from school and around 20 minutes before he has his evening snacks, after which he goes out to play.
I do not leave my boy with the mobile phone alone ever. This has two pronged benefits. Firstly, he no longer feels to stealthily pick up anyone’s mobile phone in the house. He knows his routine and that I am ok with it. Second, this helps me keep a track of stuff he is getting exposed to. Lately I encourage him to watch his videos through a specially customized for kids app by Youtube. It’s called YoutubeKids. See the section below to read more about the app.
Other than monitoring the content, I also make sure that I make the sessions interactive. How? If it’s a song or rhyme that is playing on the screen, I encourage my boy to sing it along with me. If he is watching a DIY video, I keep prompting him to tell me what’s happening in the video. If he has been watching am informative video, I ask him to put the video at pause at various points and tell me what he learnt or what he liked most about what he just saw.
With the above approach, I feel that I am encouraging my kids to be disciplined about their screen entertainment habits and learn in course. Another aspect that I have recently come to observe is that, somehow my boy has got a hang of the idea of appropriate content vis-a-viz content that might not be good for him. I like it when he makes a decision for himself on what he may watch and what he ought not. Yet as a parent, I seldom like to leave anything to chance. With the new YoutubeKids app I have made life easy for me and fun for my kid. Some of the app’s features really make screen time entertainment a rather enriching experience.
Why I Trust YoutubeKids app for My Kids’ Screen Experience
Based on your search history, the app creates the list of recommended videos. It categorises the videos in its kitty as Music related, Kids Shows, Learning based etc. Also you may select your preference as All Kids, Pre-School or School Age
Using this simple tool you put a time restriction on the duration the app will run. After the set time, the app wil cease to run, until grown up verification.
This feature gives you an option to create a pass code and restrict access to the app without your knowledge.
Search and Flag Videos
If you wish for your kid to have access to very limited set of videos based on your preference settings, just turn off the ‘search’ option. And that’s just about it. Incase you still find videos that your kid should not watch, you can flag them so. The flagged videos will not appear in your list again.
Stringent Ad Policy
YoutubeKids’ ad policy excludes provocative advertisement targeting kids. For example advertisements of Food & Beverage items is barred.
All of the above features help you create an appropriate content list that your kid is likely to get exposed to. You may then save these videos offline and disconnect the internet connection.
I believe that if the times are changing and the culture is undergoing a transformation, one may find it very difficult to stay aloof. The approach then should be to create an amicable path that finds acceptance with all the stakeholders. Managing screen entertainment for kids through Youtube Kids is one such decision that I have taken in my life.