Technology-free childhood!

Technology-free childhood, a real struggle for today’s parents

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One thing that I am always thankful for, is that I had a technology-free childhood. I was grown up in the era of landline phones, cable connections, posting letters and personal relationships – the real ones. The era when technology did not take over. The era when outings meant going to parks and picnics instead of malls. The era when people used to visit friends and relatives randomly on Sundays without informing them as they did not have the luxury of mobile phones. Yes, this modern amenity was a luxury then which has turned out to be the necessity of today.

Imagining life without this little yet addictive junk box today seems terrifying. It’s like the best companion to us everywhere even in the washroom. It has replaced our real friends into facebook / virtual friends, our diaries into a phone contact list, letters to e-mails, phone calls to WhatsApp voice notes, feelings and emotions to a facebook status.

Now don’t guess my age while reading this post and treat me as a pensioner, I’m still in my sweet 30’s, just missing the good old days and sad about the fact that I won’t be able to provide my kids the same atmosphere in which I have been raised – a gadget-free and technology-free childhood.

No matter how hard we try, it’s impossible today to keep the children away from technology. The moment they are born, they are exposed to cell phones, groupfies, selfies (of course taken by parents). And gradually to make our lives easier, we let them watch cartoons on tablets so that we can finish our chores and get some breath. They get glued to the screen and parents become happy to get some time for themselves and this is how their daily dose of screen time rockets up.

I have seen kids as young as 2 years, well acquainted with ipads, laptops, mobile phones, and whatnot. At the age of playing with blocks, crayons, legos, they own their personal tablet and operate it with such confidence that can amaze anyone. Parents have their own vindication “It’s the competitive world and kids have to be smart since childhood”. They find pride in highlighting this talent of their kids to society.

If I talk about myself, I learned computers in my school computer lab when I was in class 5-6th or even later. I know it won’t be reasonable if I start comparing our lives with that of our children as it’s altogether a generation gap and things have changed significantly in the last few years but I can’t deny the fact that technology has snatched the innocent and golden period of life from our kids. Poor babies, they don’t even realize it.

I feel sad that they will never be able to experience the joy of playing in the park, those unstructured, imaginative games, with friends, without getting lured to return home and sit on their PlayStation.

They will never have the craze of the TV like we had and used to wait for our favorite programs like Jungle Book, Rangoli, Mahabharat as they have the luxury and accessibility to watch their favorite shows on the Internet anytime.

Will not value the resources like TV, phones, radio as we used to have just one set in the entire huge family and everyone used to wait for their turn to watch their shows, make calls via landline or even listen to their channel on the radio.

They will not be able to experience the moments lazing around, basking under the sun in winters and sleeping at the terrace in summer nights.

Won’t understand the fun which we had while checking the cordless phone’s coverage by taking it to the terrace or other farther areas.

They will not understand the essence of relationships and family get-togethers. Now the wishes are exchanged on Facebook, WhatsApp and presence are marked even by going live.

Will know postmen only for the rarest of rare speed posts or delivering their passports and not for the handwritten much-awaited letters which had so many emotions wrapped in an envelope.

They won’t get to feel the excitement we had when we used to impatiently wait to see our pictures clicked by cameras and films were given to photographers to develop. They will miss the fun of guessing the pics by seeing their negatives.

Not sure if they will ever refer a dictionary for their vocabulary doubts as the Internet serves the purpose well.

They won’t get the joy of playing on the terrace with cousins when there were power cuts in summers and generators were for only a few rich people.

I can’t deny that I let my kids watch cartoons or I have devoided them of screen totally but I have set a limit to it. There are a few ways I divert my little ones from the screen, which you can also try:
  • Get down on the floor and involve them in activities like playing, singing, dancing etc.
  • Inculcate a habit of reading. Read stories with them while enacting and explaining. They will copy and learn.
  • There are many activity and craft games available in the market which help kids learn and grow.
  • Beads can be a good option to keep them busy for hours and they will become more creative.
  • Many puzzles are available in the market for all age groups which will help them use their minds and have some brainstorming sessions.
  • Lego challenge is a family fun activity in my home.
  • Painting or coloring books is another creative activity that kids will love.
  • Introduce them to the kitchen gradually, ask them to lend a helping hand in peeling green peas, boiled potatoes or even dressing the salad.
  • Encourage them to do household chores depending on their age. My little ones (2.5 years) find pride in doing everything on their own, keeping their dirty clothes in washing machine, unloading the washing machine and putting the clothes on the dryer, keeping their dirty dishes in the sink, putting their toys in place after playing, tidying the room before going to bed etc. This will not only keep them active but also make them independent.
  • Go on a walk or enroll them in hobby classes like music, dance, language, swimming, robotics, etc.
  • Kids love bubble play, it comes to my rescue when nothing else helps.
  • Many times, there are meltdown moments also but let them get bored. This way, they will try to explore new things and figure out the way to overcome their boredom.
  • Lastly, remember while you try to limit kid’s screen time, you have you set an example in front of them by limiting your usage too. Kids need models, not preachers.
  • Screen time is not bad as long as it is limited. Excess of anything is not desirable. Technology has its pros too if we use it effectively.

I am neither a pro in parenting nor I believe in any universal parenting rules. However, this is just my perspective, that I have offered on this subject which many of us ignore. While it may be natural to seek for our children, a childhood reminiscent of our own, we can’t overlook that our society is evolving and with it, childhood. Rapidly advancing technology and a changing atmosphere will result in a different experience for our kids and in the generations to come. We, as a parent, have to decide what kind of childhood we wish to give to our juniors – a gadget-free or gadget freak.


Pic credit: FamilyShare
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Surbhi Prapanna
April 14, 2018 2:16 am

Such an important parenting issue Vartika..and I could co-relate with each and every sentiment you had expressed. this is the thing that always bothers me..especially here in the USA where we have to live 7-8 months indoor due to bad weather conditions, kids get more and more involved with these gadgets. I like all your suggestions..most of them I already following..thanks a lot for sharing! please read my week 9 post here

April 14, 2018 3:11 pm

Nice post, Involving kids in activities together is a good way to bond with them. #superbloggerchallenge2018

April 17, 2018 8:44 am

This is a wonderful n relevant post. Kids today are gadget oriented n probably we are rearing a weaker race. At our times, vacations meant picnics, outdoor activities n now it is watching cartoons and mobile browsing. Alarming.
Your tips are great.

Pls read my week9 post for #superbloggerchallenge2018 #instacuppa

April 18, 2018 6:10 pm

So true Vartika. Our children will never know what kind of childhood we had! Poor things have different environment altogether. Technology is good but somehow it kills the creativity of kids. Less is more.

Tina Sequeira
April 19, 2018 4:00 pm

This is a much needed post, Vartika! Thanks for writing it. I agree it is getting harder to engage the kids who are hooked on to technology. Loved all your tips at the end. Inviting you to read my Week 9 post for #Superbloggerchallenge2018 here:

April 26, 2018 4:07 pm

Oh! You made me nostalgic.. I absolutely agree that there is a problem of excess today and children don’t know the concepts of waiting

May 6, 2018 1:10 pm

Hi Vartika,
Thanks for following my blog, which is much appreciated.
Best wishes, Pete.

Priyanka Patwari
January 14, 2019 7:24 pm

Kids now a days are more gadget baby.. And i also think that there is nothing wrong with it! The problem is a lack of parent-child interaction, not the medium through which they learn.

Tina Basu
January 15, 2019 5:03 am

My son is 3 and he likes playing with Lego blocks kitchen set vegetables cutting cars hot wheels iPad phone all. He likes other toys as much as he enjoys iPad. I found he learnt quite a lot of stuffs from YouTube – so I’m not sure if I want to ban technology totally for him.

Rinkel Arora
January 16, 2019 10:14 am

I loved the time I grew up without so much of technology, although it’s good to see the growth in tech sector when we can video call people and connect globally through internet. At the same time it’s important to make kids aware it other activities which makes them physically as well as mentally strong and sharp

November 26, 2019 3:52 pm

It is a wonderful and relevant post..You have given wonderful suggestions. Actually it not the children but we adults who are at fault,as we ourselves find the easy way out to keep children occupied.


[…] It’s no secret that we are becoming more attached to our devices as a society, and teenagers are especially susceptible to having large screen times as a result of all social pressure to be online all the time. You can use these tips to help reduce screen time in your teen’s life so they can be healthier and happier. We don’t recommend that you try to cut out screens altogether, but there’s nothing wrong with cutting back and making more time for non-screen activities. […]

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