Variety

Set an example before capping kids’ digital screen time

Our Bureau Hyderabad | Updated on December 27, 2019 Published on December 27, 2019

Internet and digital services offer kids a wide range of engaging content, and can hold their attention for a long time, the Kaspersky survey said   -  Rawpixel

Almost all the parents are upset about their kids getting hooked to the web. They want them to regulate their online activity, and engage in heated arguments every other day.

But, a survey finds that parents themselves don’t have control in their online activity.

Cyber security experts ask parents to keep the phones aside when children seek their attention and not to make them angry by having heated arguments or impose restrictions that they don’t honour.

“About 52 per cent of parents trust their kids to know when enough is enough. But, 70 per cent of parents admit that they spend too much time online. About 72 per cent feel that Internet and mobile usage in general is impeding family life,” it finds. In a global survey conducted by cyber security solutions company Kaspersky, about 40 per cent of parents do not feel the need to control or oversee their children’s online activities or Internet usage at all.

“This could be a risky strategy as, despite kids’ familiarity with online applications and navigating the Internet, cyber-risks are only a click away,” it warned.

Addiction

The survey pointed out that parents get addicted to the digital gadgets. “Furthermore, 84 per cent of them admitted that they have used internet connection or mobile devices in front of their child.

“Internet and digital services offer kids a wide range of engaging content, and can take hold of their attention for a long time,” it said.

Remedies

If the online avenues are engaging and absorbing, the real world can be made attractive too if parents are ready to invest their time and engage them in joint activities, Marina Titova, Head of Consumer Product Marketing at Kaspersky, has said.

Titova wanted parents to keep the devices aside when the children need their attention. She advised the parents not to provoke them by talking tough. “It could do damage in the long term,” she warned.

“Don’t rush to put limits in place, if they are spending too much time online. Instead discuss it with them calmly,” Titova pointed out.

“Make leisure time more varied and appealing so your child actively wants to spend time away from their device,” she said.

Ground rules

Titova wanted the parents to discuss ground rules around social media use and other communications tools, so that their school work or interaction with friends in the real world dont get affected.

Introduce rules for the whole family, so children don’t feel singled out or unfairly restricted.

“This could include no phones at the dinner table, having a curfew on device usage or even leaving devices downstairs at bedtime,” Titova summed up.

Published on December 27, 2019
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