Gadget Free Parenting Challenge

Gadget Free Parenting Challenge

16-05-2018

 

And we are here for the last day of the #GadgetFreeParentingChallenge! Phew, time indeed flies! So here is the #Day30Challenge: Build an indoor tent or fort with sofas and some bed sheets. This is something all of us would have definitely done at some point in our childhood. Isn’t it?! So go ahead, build a tent indoor and have lots of fun role-playing!

 

Day 29 tracker could be filled here -> https://goo.gl/forms/YjZFSQNGeS1RpYnT2

15-05-2018

#GadgetFreeParentingChallenge:

#Day29Challenge

Take a walk down your street and identify one problem in your community – could be lack of dustbins on the road, no trees or greenery around, garbage dump around, tank overflows every time in the adjacent flat etc. Talk to your child to find out solutions for the challenge! Try talking to more children and parents in your community to see if you can fix the problem. Involve your child at every step!

Day 28 tracker could be filled here -> https://goo.gl/forms/zU1uEEFRqztQ05Zi2

14-05-2018

#GadgetFreeParentingChallenge:

#Day28Challenge

Invite your child’s friends home and plan the evening with them! Prepare a snack and play some games with them!

Day 27 tracker could be filled here -> https://goo.gl/forms/tvqn0KihVQsCO7ai1

13-05-2018

#GadgetFreeParentingChallenge:

#Day27Challenge:

One more dose of Vitamin – N today. All you need for this simple craft is tape! Wrap a piece of masking tape around your child’s wrist sticky side up, and head out for a nature walk. As you explore, have your child find different items to attach to the tape to make a bracelet. Different flowers, leaves, and even grass all make great additions!

Day 26 tracker could be filled here -> https://goo.gl/forms/xiCDO5E2fjVm8nnv2

11-05-2018
#GadgetFreeParentingChallenge:
#Day26Challenge
Make Gardening a part of your daily life. Grow vegetables at home with your child and try harvesting them to cook your meal with them! If you already have a garden at home, engage your child actively by talking to them about the plants, make them water the plants and try to make your child sow a new seed! If you don’t have a garden at home, this is a good time to start!
Day 25 tracker could be filled here -> https://goo.gl/forms/poMWDkJfGY6FMgPE3

09-05-2018

#Day25Challenge: Today’s gadget free activity is going to be decided by you! Get creative and wrack your brains to come up with some activity!

Some ideas:
-> Play a board game together
-> Blow bubbles in the terrace

-> Do a household chore together

Day 24 tracker could be filled here -> https://goo.gl/forms/dg7Fexb9M9kmQKVi2

08-05-2018

#GadgetFreeParentingChallenge: Today’s challenge will just have 3 words as we don’t need to explain any further: Play Dumb Charades #Day24Challenge

Day 23 tracker could be filled here -> https://goo.gl/forms/MsYOKlhSSnCoB8LR2

07-05-2018

#GadgetFreeParentingChallenge: Nothing can really equal the feeling of finding an inland letter/post card addressed to us in our post box! Today, we will give someone that experience!

 #Day23Challenge: Talk to your child to decide the one person to whom you would be writing a letter together! Write a letter taking inputs from your child, if she/he can’t write! If your child can write, ask her/him to write the letter fully and just give the nudge that is needed! Here is the twist, you will buy an inland letter/post card from Post Office and write the letter in it! Write the address of the receiver and post it once you are done!

 Day 22 tracker could be filled here -> https://goo.gl/forms/Q8HWta49vgPDPVgm2

 06-05-2018

 #GadgetFreeParentingChallenge: Aren’t we all tired of trying to make our children eat properly?! When your children won’t eat what you’re making, it can seem like it isn’t worth the effort though. Creating a weekly meal plan and grocery shopping list is a practical way to approach this problem.
#Day22Challenge: Talk to your child and fix on the menu for the coming week! Plan all 3 meals – Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner. Based on the menu decided, go shopping for vegetables and fruits. This is a wonderful way to help your child get interested in new vegetables and fruits!
Day 21 tracker could be filled here -> https://goo.gl/forms/HKBt8q6n6wJVcwUq2
05-05-2018
#GadgetFreeParentingChallenge Today, we tend to engage our children constantly! We feel that children sitting idle is wrong/bad! Today, we are going to understand that it is extremely important for our children to understand that “Boredom is an important aspect of life!”
#Day21Challenge: Today we are not going to do any activity! Letting your children be bored can be terrifying the first time you do it, but it’s a lot easier than it seems. They’ll complain at first. Just wait a few minutes and they’ll find something to do on their own. That’s more than just okay, it’s an essential skill they’ll need for the rest of their lives.
Boredom is something we fear, but it’s a major part of our lives. And making our children handle it head-on just might be one of the best things we can do for them!
So put down the juggling balls and let your kids be bored for a while. Take a little time for yourself. Not only is it good for you, but it just might be the best thing you can do for them.
Here are a few more reasons to let your child be bored:
  • Boredom improves creativity
  • Boredom improves psychological well-being
  • Boredom makes children more motivated
  • Boredom makes children more interesting
  • Boredom is good for parents too
Day 20 tracker could be filled here -> https://goo.gl/forms/RRHnclWsHfDeoUwB3
04-05-2018
#GadgetFreeParentingChallenge #Day20Challenge: Today you are going to build a story together! Start a sentence and ask your child to continue the story with the next sentence. You could involve others at home as well! Build the story as much as you can. Decide when to complete. Make sure the story is coherent though!
After completing the story, write it down! Preserve this sheet of paper to read out and rejoice sometime in the future!
Day 19 tracker could be filled here -> https://goo.gl/forms/xVV47c7L564iGli72
03-05-2018
#GadgetFreeParentingChallenge #Day19Challenge: Wait, why are all of these toys still here? The “wait, not yet” pile is bigger than the donation and trash piles always, isn’t it? Today, it is time to clear out all the old/unused toys by probably playing with them one last time!
Asking children to help you choose which toys to keep and which toys to get rid of sounds absurd. However, children know which toys they want to play with and which ones they don’t. Depending on the ages of your children this may be a great opportunity to teach them about generosity. It feels good to give and bless others, and it’s never too early to start explaining that principle to your children.
If you already have only the toys that are currently used by your child, just play with them with your child! Trust us when we say, it’s a lot of fun! As always, put the phone away!
Day 18 tracker could be filled here -> https://goo.gl/forms/XWLhXr6k1evBkvQR2

02-05-2018

#GadgetFreeParentingChallenge #Day18Challenge: Do a simple craft activity with your child, preferably something that you did as a child – paper boat, airplane or four cups!

Keep the phone and TV switched off and pull out some sheets of paper! Its craft time!

Day 17 Tracker could be filled here -> https://goo.gl/forms/QDLQq4IhooAUlhVc2

01-05-2018

#GadgetFreeParentingChallenge #Day17Challenge: Play Bingo! Do you remember playing it? Here is a simple version of it:

Draw a 5 x 5 square for yourself and your child. Fill numbers 1 to 25 in each square and ask your child to do the same. Start calling out numbers alternately! The first one to form 3 lines wins! Don’t forget to shout Bingo! Keep the phone away and play this simple yet fun game!

Day 16 Tracker could be filled here -> https://goo.gl/forms/iGGhx1wTnhzGWxoV2

29-04-2018

#GadgetFreeParentingChallenge #Day16Challenge: Today, involve your child in cooking dinner! Try something new or prepare your favourite dish! Involve your spouse and child as much as possible! Cook and eat together! Make this experience positive and fun by giving them “hands-on” activities like kneading the dough, squeezing oranges or mashing potatoes. Chances are, if you make it fun, you will always have a helping hand in the kitchen. Additionally, your child gains competency by mastering new skills of cooking.

 Most importantly, take your child’s help in cleaning after cooking or eating! Make it a solid activity that your child will participate in and out.

 Day 15 Tracker could be filled here ->https://goo.gl/forms/OYOU9kaLxW6oFul73

28-04-2018

#GadgetFreeParentingChallenge: How did the Me-Time go yesterday? Try to do this often even after the challenge is over! It’s time for one more dose of Vitamin-N again!

#Day15Challenge: We are half-way through our 30-day challenge! Time sure flies, no? Involve your spouse in today’s challenge! Go to a park nearby and play there! Leave the phone at home and go to the park. Become a child again and enjoy with your little one!

Day 14 Tracker could be filled here ->https://goo.gl/forms/qa8X4oomvc9YwQSk2

27-04-2018

#GadgetFreeParentingChallenge: Today’s activity might sound a bit strange to you! While you do something that interests you (away from gadgets, of course), encourage your spouse to do something that interests her/him and ask your child to do the same as well! While we have been encouraging you to spend time with your child all these days, this sounds a bit weird doesn’t it?

#Day14Challenge: Today, we will teach your children the importance of taking time for oneself productively, like pursuing a hobby, independently.Today, we see a lot of people who are always dependent on others to stay entertained! This is not really a healthy sign at all! Every one of us should have “Me Time” which is for self-care and development!

While on the one hand, your child will learn to be independent, on the other hand they learn to respect your time for yourself without constantly nagging you! This could be a difficult task but is a very important one in the 30-day challenge! This works with children as young as 2 years of age! So go ahead and try!

Day 13 Tracker could be filled here -> https://goo.gl/forms/TTclAtgQ3oScA7kl2

26-04-2018

#GadgetFreeParentingChallenge: Yesterday’s activity was a lot of effort wasn’t it? It was not just for one day, think more about ways to help not just your child but the whole family, understand Reduce, Reuse and Recycle!

 #Day13Challenge -> Today, play a traditional game with your child! It could be Pallankuzhi, Sozhi, Puliyankottai, Kallankaai, Kattam Vilayattu, Aadu Puli aattam or anything else that you played as a child. Thinking what to do because you don’t have the game at home? Most boards of traditional games could be simply printed or drawn on a sheet of paper. Collect coins from other games that your child might have! Hunting for the coins could be an activity by itself!

 Go ahead, fix a game and have fun playing! Of course, keep your phone away during the course of the game!

Day 12 Tracker could be filled here -> https://goo.gl/forms/xgx4Cfqu7CUQqMhY2

25-04-2018

#GadgetFreeParentingChallenge: Today, we will be doing an activity that is more serious than the other days! It is important to teach children important values right from their childhood – Reduce, Reuse and Recycle is what we are going to learn today.

#Day12Challenge: Read the details given very carefully and educate your child as relevant. Also, start following these from today:

REDUCE:
-> Buy only what you need, avoid unnecessary purchases where possible.
-> Buy products with little packaging, avoid disposable items and buy in bulk when possible.
-> Buy products that can be reused, rather than thrown away, such as rechargeable batteries.
-> Reduce paper waste by printing or writing on both sides of a sheet of paper
-> Donate unwanted items, instead of throwing them away.
-> Reduce paper waste, by cancelling unwanted mail.
-> Buy non-toxic products, in order to reduce hazardous waste.
REUSE
Plastic bags – Reuse while taking to shops or as bin bags.
Jars and pots – Clean them and use them as storage containers.
Newspaper, bubble wrap and cardboard – Reuse as packing material.
Old Clothes – Donate them to charity shops.

Paper – Reuse as scrap paper to make notes and sketches.

RECYCLE

-> Buy products that are made from recycled material -> Recycle bins should be kept in an obvious place so you won’t forget to use it. -> Composting in your garden is an excellent way of recycling kitchen and garden waste.

Day 11 Tracker could be filled here -> https://goo.gl/forms/U0h8r6TUQU84MchV2

24-04-2018

#GadgetFreeParentingChallenge: Yay! We have completed 10 days of this challenge! Give yourself a pat on your back and get ready for #Day11Challenge!

Let us go back in time and reminisce the times that we spent listening to the stories of our parent’s childhood. What beautiful memories! Did we not relish imagining our parents as kids and knowing how their world was way different than ours?

It is time to create such moments with your child. Today’s challenge is to share your childhood story with your children. Go ahead and become a beautiful story teller to your child. Let them know how naughty, messy, good or troublesome a child you were to your parents. Tell them how similar or different your childhood was from theirs. Discuss the importance of family and friends with them.

It is extremely important for children to understand that their parents have emotions just like them and this activity could help them realise that they can approach you with their emotions!

We are sure that once you start your stories, you will not only lose track of time but will also forget your gadgets!

Day 10 Tracker can be filled in here -> https://goo.gl/forms/WpU7h0kEDHejOApE2


23-04-2018

#GadgetFreeParentingChallenge: Hope the nature trail helped you in creating wonderful memories and a scrap book.

#Day10Challenge: Today’s activity is going to be one of the easiest but extreme fun. Its time to get a bit messy! Paint together with your child.

Things required: Chart sheet/Fabric/Glass, color palettes, paint, colors and brush.

Sit together and start painting with your family. No rules! Just mix the colors and create wonderful artwork. Sounds fun, right?

Don’t worry about paint spilling about here and there. You can clean up together after the activity is done. Paint with fingers, brushes are too mainstream! 😉
Be prepared to be amused by your child’s love for paints and colours and of course, their creativity!
Remember to switch off the gadgets and turn on the conversation.
Day 9 Tracker can be filled in here -> https://goo.gl/forms/6TYb25YTNtqz04Tp2

22-04-2018

#GadgetFreeParentingChallenge: Almost all our children, even most of us are Vitamin-N deficient! What is Vitamin-N, you may ask? N here stands for Nature! A family can become happier, healthier and smarter through more contact with the natural world. On World Earth Day today, our challenge is going to give us the Vitamin- N supply that we need!

#Day9Challenge: Go on a Nature walk around your neighbourhood. Observe the many types of trees, plants, birds, insects around. Collect different shaped leaves, pebbles, fallen flowers during the walk. Come back home and make a small scrap book! Sounds interesting right? Yeah, as always leave the phone at home when you go for a walk!

Day 8 Tracker can be filled here -> https://goo.gl/forms/Qbs2jPT5YWfWvIRA3

P.S: We have been getting honest responses in the tracker where some parents are still using gadgets during the time they spend with the child! It is a hard thing to let go of them but keep trying! You must understand that this is for yourself and your child!

21-04-2018

#GadgetFreeParentingChallenge: It’s time for some outdoorsy fun again! Remember the games we played as children in our summer vacations? Hide & Seek, Nondi, Paandi, Gilli, Seven Stones and what not! All these were played outdoors! We never bothered about the scorching sun, didn’t come back till we were summoned inside for some 10 times! Those were indeed the best days of our lives!

#Day8Challenge: Today, step out of the house with your child and play some outdoor game! Four corners, Dog and the Bone are some more ideas! Leave the phone at home! Reinvent your child’s childhood by bringing back yours! Have great fun!

Day 7 Tracker can be filled here -> https://goo.gl/forms/CTsCnUfmvkAd0DEh2


20-04-2018

#GadgetFreeParentingChallenge: Weekend is here! Involve your spouse for sure for the next 3 days’ challenges!

You can involve your parents and in-laws for today’s activity as well! More the merrier no? Everyone involved should switch off the phone and TV.

#Day7Challenge: Today, you are going to make your family tree! Draw a tree and get started. See how many generations backward you can go and explore. This could act as a wonderful tool to converse about great grandmothers or great aunts or second/third cousins and more! Involving grandparents will help you crate a huge tree! Go on and have fun making your family tree!

 Day 6 Tracker can be filled here -> https://goo.gl/forms/hcLSiCkTScWiK3V13

19-04-2018

#GadgetFreeParentingChallenge: Back in our childhood days, hot summer nights were spent in the terrace, star gazing! Life was so simple! With sea breeze setting in, it was a pleasure to lie down in the terrace, chitchatting with our parents or siblings or cousins during summer holidays!

Today, unfortunately, we spend summer evenings indoors in an AC room watching television or swiping on gadgets! Our children miss all the outdoor time we had as children. Today’s challenge is a first step to spending more time outdoors!

#Day6Challenge: Take a mat with you, leave the phone at home and go to the terrace! Lie down with your child and gaze at the universe out there! Marvel at the creation around! Count starts with your child! Make up stories about aliens and spaceships! Let their imagination reach the sky!

Day 5 Tracker can be filled here -> https://goo.gl/forms/b1WcC63ZRIcTeyOy1
18-04-2018
#GadgetFreeParentingChallenge: Before we tell what the challenge is today, we have a small activity for you. Identify a cupboard or wardrobe in your home that hasn’t been cleaned for the longest time! Well, did you guess what the challenge is?
 
#Day5Challenge: Yes yes, you are right! You and your child will clean that cupboard together! Sounds difficult? Well, maybe not! Go ahead and do it together!
 
Doing Household chores together: good for children, good for the whole family! Being involved in chores gives children, experience of relationship skills like communicating clearly, cooperating and working as a team.
 
When children contribute, it helps them feel competent and responsible. Even if they don’t enjoy the chore, when they keep going they get the feeling of satisfaction that comes with finishing a task. And nothing like a clean cupboard isn’t it!
 
If you are up for it, take Before Cleaning and After Cleaning photos! 😉
 
As always, switch off your phone and TV for the entire duration. Make the cleaning process interesting by talking or singing with your child! The more you interact the better it is!
 
Day 4 Tracker can be filled here -> https://goo.gl/forms/tTvcrxb7rqRUiEXw1
17-04-2018
Yes, you are right! Switch off the phone and TV before today’s activity!
#GadgetFreeParentingChallenge Remember the smell of books? Kindle can never offer it! Did you read books as a child? Do you still read books today?
#Day4Challenge: If your answer is No to both the questions above, would you like to start reading books? The best books to start reading are children’s books!
If Yes, do you read with your child together? Reading together creates a beautiful bond that will be cherished by your child for a long time! “Children are made readers on the laps of their parents”.
Remember to emphasise that reading is not studying! Also, insist that reading is fun and opens their minds to new worlds!
By children’s books, we don’t just mean the regular moral books or clichéd Fairy tales! There are umpteen options available today for children and these books are such a pleasure to read. Beautiful illustrations, open-ended stories, Indian characters and so much more!
Publications like Tulika, Pratham, DuckBill, MsMoochie, Tara and more are doing such a wonderful job! Unsure of these books? Visit a library nearby and explore options! If you already have good books at home for your child, just pick one and start reading with your child!
If your child can read independently, ask them to read out the book to you! It is a wonderful experience, trust us!
With your help, your children can begin a lifelong relationship with books, so they grow into adults who read easily and frequently whether for business, knowledge, or pleasure.
Day 3 Tracker can be filled here -> https://goo.gl/forms/GDaMo8qQ32ZI4jfr1

16-04-2018

Hope the walk yesterday, has inspired you to walk whenever possible with your child! Today’s activity needs a few materials:

Papers, Pencils, Sharpeners, Erasers, Crayons/Colour pencils/Sketch Pens, Switched off Phone and TV

Don’t worry if you are not artistically inclined! Quoting Pablo Picasso – “Every Child is an artist! The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up!”. Most children attend drawing classes today and we have often observed that children who are inclined to arts hate going to a drawing class! Such an irony, don’t you think!

Drawing is an outlet of creativity but we impose rules and squeeze the joy out of it! Today, take a few sheets of paper and draw together with your child. Remember, no rules, just draw and let your child draw anything even if it is labelled as “scribbling”. Use crayons, pencils or sketch pens and draw! Fill the sheets with your imagination! Don’t worry about how the output looks! It is not always about the destination but more about the journey also!

Talk to your child about what you have drawn and ask your child to talk about her/his work! Be prepared to be amazed by your child’s creativity!

Day 2 Tracker can be filled here -> https://goo.gl/forms/mjCUCSPZAmLrwnKI2

15-04-2018

Hope you had fun playing the ABC Game yesterday!

Involve your spouse for today’s guideline also! Sunday is Funday!

Do you remember swinging in between your mother and father, holding their hands with them walking on either side of you? When we were children, we walked almost for anything and everything! Today, we take our bikes or even cars out to go to a shop that’s actually walkable, don’t we? Physical exercise is taking a backseat in our lives today. It is time for a change for our well being as well as the planet’s!

It is a very simple yet important activity today! Here is what you are going to do with your child today:

#Day2Challenge : Take a walk around your neighbourhood. Switch off your phone and keep it at home! When was the last time, you left home without your phone?

These days, wherever we go, be it to eat out or on a vacation, we forget to experience and rejoice that moment, instead we click a lot of photos, check-in on Facebook and update our status! In today’s challenge, because you don’t have your phone with you, none of the above is possible. So spend time just with your child.

There is no destination to reach to or no particular road to take. Go with the flow, hold your child’s hand, talk to them about random things that you see on your way and most importantly there is no hurry to get back! Remember, you have 30 – 60 minutes!

In the rat race we all run, we hardly pause to observe, reflect or enjoy. This walk is a reminder to you that each day is a journey and every journey is an experience that creates beautiful memories for your child/children which shape them to become the adults they would become in the future!

Happy Walking!

Day 1 Tracker can be filled here -> https://goo.gl/forms/yLDtykyYlTvSY6vH3
We don’t collect any sensitive personal information in the form. This is just for us to know how many people are taking up the challenge!


14-04-2018

Hola! Here goes the first task in the #GadgetFreeParentingChallenge. What better way to start but with a game, right! So yay! Let’s get started!

Oh, yeah, remember to switch off your phones and TV before starting the game!

#Day1Challenge : You will be playing the ABC Hunt Game with your child/children. This activity should take about 20 – 30 minutes to complete! Explain how to play the game to your child before starting! Oh, do remember to tell them that winning or losing the game is not important, what matters if they tried hard enough and whether they had good fun in the process while learning something new!

So, do give them a tough fight in the game! They must learn that there are others who can be better than them and should be prepared to face them!

Also, as mentioned earlier, if your spouse is living with you, involve her/him in this activity! It is Saturday + holiday!

How to Play:

Start with finding something that begins with the letter A inside your house. First person to shout out an answer gets a point. Go all the way to Z. The person with the most points wins! Set your boundaries, you could include the terrace and even car parking!

Do not skip any alphabet! For instance, if you are unable find anything starting with Q, hunt for books or games or find pictures in newspapers that has something that begins with Q. Remember having fun is the most important aspect of this game!

Once all words are found, list down the words you had shouted out! You can do one more round with a complete new set of words if you really liked playing it!

If your child hasn’t started associating words with alphabets yet, don’t worry, just make it as an activity to run around, show the different objects and help her/him learn to connect the word sound with alphabets. Afterall, phonetics isn’t sorcery!

If you think this will be too easy for your child, tweak it a bit, go back from Z to A or find 3 things at a time in each alphabet and so on!

Why this game?

When was the last time you played hide and seek or treasure hunt or any activity that involved running around? Unfortunately, children are often asked to sit in a single place for a long time, be it in their classroom or even in an extra-curricular class! Gadgets and TV also do the same to children!

Children love moving around and this is quite important for their growth! This game is ideal in this sense of moving around and finding specific things! It is a good activity for their body as well as brain!

13-04-2018

Unlike other aspects of life, anyone with a child claims to be an expert in parenting and you get tons of advice everywhere you turn in real life as well as on the internet!

We know that, each child is unique and the same rules don’t apply to all children, the same parenting ways might not work for all children at all times!

Yes, we also had informed that there would be parenting tips in the 30-day gadget free challenge. There isn’t going to be a separate tip section in ourchallenge guidelines so we are not going be yet another of those annoying Parenting Tip sources!

We believe that parenting is a journey that almost never ends, we evolve over a period of time, constantly learning in the process. We are just trying to make it meaningful in whatever little ways we can! Happy Parenting!

Remember, the first guideline will be out tomorrow morning!

12-04-2018

With just 2 days to go for the #GadgetFreeParentingChallenge to start, here are some more details about it.

We would recommend parents to spend, atleast 30 – 60 gadget free minutes everyday with their child/children as a part of the challenge. Some activities might take more time than others! If you finish an activity in a very short span of time, extend or repeat the activity to make sure you spend that half an hour to one hour. If you don’t want to extend or repeat, just talk to your child about random things or sing songs together or hold hands to dance around the room or just jump with joy! Trust us when we say, it will all be totally worth it!

All the activities that we have planned could be executed by both mothers and fathers and most of them can be done during any time of the day! If both parents take up the challenges everyday together and do it on all 30 days, nothing like it. Practically, we understand that this might not be possible. The activities that we have planned for Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays could be done by both parents!

We have 14 such weekend activities, including the first day’s activity! Hope you all have fun together doing these activities while building that beautiful bond essential in every family!

11-04-2018

We will be posting the first guideline this Saturday! Everyday we will also have a Google Form link that you can choose to fill in! This is for you to track as well as for us to know how many people are taking up the challenge and their progress. We are updating our web blog also with the Challenge Guidelines. Save this note link to open and check the updates everyday!

10-04-2018

Enough and more has been said about the ill-effects of gadgets on children. We as parents are trying to reduce screen time for our children in multiple ways! But, let’s face it, how often do we take our phones to check for notifications, even if the phone doesn’t buzz, how much time do we spend scrolling down the bottom-less social media feed, how many WhatsApp groups are we a part of to check and laugh at the different forwarded messages/memes?

Are we, adults, also being held hostage by gadgets? Do we get distracted often even when we are spending time with family or while having a meal? Yes, is the answer most often, right?

While it is impractical and impossible to lead a #GadgetFreeLife in today’s fast paced world, are we doing justice to our child/children when we ask them to stay focused or be attentive when we tell them something but don’t return the favour? Are we spending quality time with them by having meaningful conversations thus developing a bond that will last a lifetime?

In today’s busy world, all of us have a gazillion things to do and most often parenting is limited to meeting the child’s basic requirements, helping the child do her/his homework, getting what the child wants and not necessarily needs, going out to malls/restaurants etc,. While we convince ourselves that we don’t have time for anything else, the truth most often is, we are distracted a lot, thanks to gadgets, and hence do not spend quality time with the child devoting the time and attention the child rightfully deserves!

There is much to gain from intentionally carving out regular pockets of quality time to spend with your child, where the relationship is developed significantly and experiences are shared meaningfully.

Here are some benefits from spending quality time with your child:

1. Set a strong foundation for the tween and teenage years (bah, imagine that!)
2. It will build self-esteem and worth in children
3. It communicates directly to your child that you value their emotions and thoughts
4. It may be the only way to really get to know your child!
5. Last but not the least, you will feel good about it! Imagine getting rid of all/most of the guilt!

Okay, I decide to spend time with my child, but I am not creative enough to figure out what to do! Even if I do figure out, how do I sustain it? How can I involve my spouse also?

You might have more questions! The Jhoola #GadgetFreeParentingChallenge is an attempt to answer these questions and more!

Here are some FAQs on the challenge:

1. How long should I spend everyday?

Plan to spend at least 45 to 60 minutes with your child, following each day’s guideline. Choosing a specific time of the day everyday would be the best way to go ahead as your child gets into the habit/routine.

2. Can I have my phone near me (just in case)?

Big No! Put your phones/tabs away, switching off would be ideal, so that there are no distractions whatsoever! Control the urge to check your phone for updates! It could be difficult initially but this could be a very important personal goal for your own good! Switch off the TV in that time slot even if someone else in the family is watching at that time!

3. My spouse is not available, what do I do?

If your spouse is in a different geographical location, it is not possible to involve them, but if you are living in the same house, it is better to involve him/her as well. There will be guidelines on some days during the course of the challenge, that would require both the mother and father to do together with the child!

4. Is it not contradictory to learn about a Gadget Free Challenge through a Gadget?

It indeed is, as we mentioned earlier, it is impractical to live without gadgets today, but if something good and positive comes out of it, nothing like it, right? While you will read the challenge guidelines on your gadget, the key is to execute it without gadgets!

5. Is it okay to skip the challenge in between, because I wouldn’t be available for some reason?

If you are not available, encourage your spouse to fill the gap. If you are on a vacation, you could still attempt to do, after all, our gadget use doesn’t take a vacation, does it? Earnest efforts and a strong conviction to build a solid bond with your child is all you need to keep it going.

6. Why is this a 30-day long challenge, is it not too long?

A 30 Day Challenge is a proven strategy for implementing new healthy habits in life. We are hoping that at the end of 30 days of spending quality time with your child, it becomes a habit and norm in your lifestyle.

7. How do I track my progress or keep a tab on it? Can I see how other parents are doing it?

Well, the idea is definitely not to create a competitive attitude among parents, but more of a peer to peer learning through this experience. But, if you do want to record your experience and learning through the process, and share with others, you can use the The Jhoola Community group. Create a thread for your challenge and keep updating it. If other parents decide to do, you would be able to learn from their experience as well.

8. What is the age group of children this challenge is applicable for?

3 to 10 is ideal! Do feel free to tweak and adapt to lesser than 3 or greater than 10!

9. I might get more questions as the Challenge Progresses, what to do?

Comment your questions here and we will try our best to answer them!

10. Would you announce a winner at the end of the 30-day challenge?

As we keep telling children, winning or losing is not important, the efforts that you put in and the joy you get in the process is what matters!

11. Will the activities be material intrinsic?

No, most activities will use materials easily available at home, some, will need no materials at all and for very few rare ones, you might need to visit the local market, to buy inexpensive materials only!

12. Why is Jhoola Activity Centre doing this?

We at Jhoola have always emphasised the need for a solid parent-child bond and have workshops/events that promote parents spending quality time with their children. With holidays round the corner, we thought it would be a good initiative to help parents spend quality time with children, by aiding and enabling them.

And hey, most importantly, this challenge is for both mothers and fathers! Spending quality time with children is important for both the parents. So encourage your spouse to read this note and take up the challenge! None of the activities that we would be sharing has any gender roles to it! After all, we believe in abolishing Gender Discrimination and what better way but to start from our children!

First guideline would come out on April 14th! Keep watching this space! This NOTE would be updated with guidelines, tips and FAQs everyday from then.

Let’s get on a mission to #ReinventChildhood with #MeaningfulParenting!

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