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How to cultivate healthy digital habits with your child  

24 May 2022

The recent pandemic resurgence has led to mandated distance learning in cities across Shanghai. This is the best possible solution for ensuring the continuity of our educational provision. It keeps our pupils engaged in their learning and connected with their classmates. 

However, web-based distance learning brings with it several new challenges for our pupils that we must all be mindful of.  

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Increased screen time brings with it a host of potential risks that could affect our pupils’ cognitive development, health and mental wellbeing. 

Being online more often increases our pupil’s risk of encountering age-inappropriate content. Long periods of screen time can put a lot of strain on their developing eyes. It can also have a negative effect on sleep quality and attention spans.  

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We do all that we can at Huili Nursery to instil in our pupils the importance of cultivating healthy digital habits. But healthy digital habits begin in the home, and with internet technology currently being our only medium for learning, it is now more important than ever. Here are some ways that we can help our child to cultivate healthy digital habits.  

 

 

Set screen time guidelines at home

 
 

 

Set reasonable guidelines for how much daily screen time our child gets.  

 

Children under three years old are not exposed to electronic screens.

 

For children between 3 and 6, no more than one hour per day and no more than 20 minutes every time. 

 

For children between 6 and 9, no more than two hours per day and no more than 30 minutes every time. 

Therefore, set limits with child accordingly and stand firm in upholding the rules. Be consistent and resist the urge to use a digital device as a pacifier. It is, of course, impossible to regulate every minute of child’s day, but some of this work can be outsourced to the digital device itself.  

 

 
 
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Therefore, be sure to familiarise ourselves with devices’ parental restrictions settings. These can cut off access for child after a certain time limit has been reached. Remember, though, these settings are meant to supplement parental supervision, not replace it.  

 

 

Explore the world away from the screen 

 
 

 

The nursery prepares rich online learning packs for children every week. We also continue to hold online parent workshops on various topics to help parents support children's learning at home.  

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Even at home, parents can create a varied learning environment for children engaging in activities such as making handicrafts from recycled materials, reading stories together or exploring the life cycle of plants. 

Be sure to also, take time to talk with your child. Listen to their thoughts on the ongoing challenges we are all facing. Encourage them to engage in house chores with you or play games together.   

 

 

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When ensuring effective online learning, we also launched ‘Screen Free Friday’ initiative. Our teaching team offered a series of creative activities for children to choose to participate in on Fridays. 

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The aim is to encourage children to step away from the screen and engage in exploration of the real world and thus see a vast and more colourful real world.