Baatu Tech’s Sandeep Kumar on Fostering Healthy Digital Habits for Children

The digital era has irrevocably transformed our world, with the younger generation leading the charge as they delve into a vast realm of online exploration by actively engaging in digital learning experiences. CXOToday spoke to Sandeep Kumar, Founder and Managing Director, Baatu Tech, to discuss the challenges of digital parenting and gather insights on effectively managing a child’s digital activities and screen time.

  1. What are the challenges parents face in monitoring and managing their children’s digital activities and screen time?

Managing children’s digital activities and screen time poses a formidable challenge in today’s digitally driven world. Keeping track of numerous apps and online platforms, while enforcing reasonable screen time limits, becomes an ongoing challenge for parents. Monitoring children’s digital activities while maintaining a sense of privacy is quite challenging as well. In a recent survey we presented, it was revealed that an overwhelming 95% of Indian parents are deeply concerned about screen addiction while 70% expressed worries over exposure to adult content. These findings show that online safety risks such as cyberbullying, and the consumption of inappropriate content are greatly concerning for parents to encounter, especially when they want their children to leverage technology’s benefits.

  1. Can you share some practical tips for fostering safe digital habits in children from an early age?

It’s crucial to instill healthy digital habits in children from an early age. Here are a few tips to consider:

  • Setting screen time limits tailored to the child’s age and needs
  • Prioritizing educational content and being around to keep a check on the kind of content the child is viewing
  • Teaching children about internet safety basics like not sharing personal information
  • Most importantly parents must be good role models by managing their own screen time and digital habits, especially when around children
  1. How can parents strike a balance between allowing children to explore the digital world and protecting them from potential dangers like cyberbullying or exposure to inappropriate content?

To navigate the delicate balance between allowing children to embrace the digital world while safeguarding them from online safety risks, proactive measures are essential. Rather than imposing strict prohibitions on device usage, open communication and setting age-appropriate guidelines are key. Encouraging curiosity while implementing parental controls enables monitoring of online activities without stifling exploration. Additionally, encourage them to discuss any unusual activities or inappropriate content they encounter. Teach them digital literacy – the ability to identify what is right and what is wrong for them at their age and equip them with essential skills to navigate the digital landscape safely and responsibly.

  1. Many parents struggle with device addiction themselves. What strategies would you recommend for modeling healthy technology habits for children?

To instill healthy technology habits in children, parents must lead by example and prioritize balanced device usage, especially when around children. Creating designated digital-free times, such as during family meals or before bedtime, fosters opportunities for meaningful interactions. Engaging in gadget-free activities for spending quality time, such as reading books, playing board games, and enjoying outdoor walks, strengthens the value of offline experiences. It is important to ensure the children understand that the rules apply to all equally. Consistency in applying these rules ensures clarity and reinforces the importance of balanced technology use for the entire family.

  1. As children grow older, how can parents continue to have open dialogues about online safety and digital citizenship without being overly restrictive or invasive?

Maintaining open and non-judgmental communication between parents and growing children is crucial. Avoiding excessive restrictions fosters trust and encourages children to confide in their parents about their online experiences. Having conversations around online safety, and addressing any concerns they may be facing will help monitor their digital activities effectively. Ethics, critical thinking, and positive engagement are things children should be taught about emphasizing the fact that parents’ concerns come from a place of caring. By emphasizing care and guidance rather than control, parents can empower their children to navigate the digital world confidently while fostering a sense of digital citizenship.