Sakina Qasim Zaidi is a multi-talented personality working as a Principal of Orchids- The International School- Panathur. She has more than 20 years of experience in the field of education in India and Botswana, Africa. She is a recipient of my rewards and accolades.
Examination times are the most stressful days for any student and also for family members. Social media addiction makes it even difficult for students to resist and concentrate on academics leading to poor grades. Giving a child a mobile phone leads to grave dangers like cyberbullying, screen time addiction, and going to irrelevant and inappropriate content.
Social media is highly addictive in nature and that is why it comes in the way of examination preparation. To break this addiction, it is advisable to go for a complete social media detox. Social media detoxification means limiting the time spent on social media and finally refraining from using it. Some of its benefits are:
- Reduces procrastination
- Decreased anxiety and tension during the examination
- Provides better clarity in thinking
- Students have more time to do things related to academics
- Increased focus and longer retention of concepts.
Parents can do a lot in terms of protecting and helping them to detox during examination time.
- Use the same apps your child is on to learn what kind of content is consuming their time. Using the same app like the one used by your child will help a parent in tracking their social media activities. Educate and guide your child to check on how much time they are spending on the social media apps during examination days.
- Set limits, not only for your kids but also for yourself. Decide when everyone can use their devices each day and for how long. You can set blocks of time when the child is in the thick of examination preparation. Taking away the phone during the examination period will be less helpful, instead of putting a cap on the usage will enable the habit of self-control. Let the child be more mindful of the time spent online and limit social media usage.
- Detox with a buddy. Be a buddy to your child whether the objective is to lose weight, or spend less time on social media. Having someone to hold the child accountable can make all the difference. Practice what you preach. If a parent frequently uses the phone in the presence of the child, it would be difficult to expect the same from them.
- Get a real alarm clock. Discourage your child from using the phone as an alarm clock, instead, buy one for them. The setting alarm on the phone would give reasons for them to check the phone more frequently. Move to the traditional way of having an alarm clock as a timekeeper!
- Give your phone a break. Set rules for your child when after a certain hour (like 8 pm), the phone is beyond his/ her reach. Keep the phone out of the child’s bedroom. Move the charging station from their bedside table to an area that is beyond their reach. The less access they have to it, the less likely they are to explore social media for long hours.
- Phone-free day. Believe it or not, we use our phones maximum for checking our social media accounts. If you can go without checking your social media accounts all day, you can live without your phone all day! Let the family and close ones know in advance that you will be off your phone today to limit the calls and messages.
Social media detox and absolutely limiting the use of social media will help any student from getting better focus and concentration in their examination preparations.
It is important for parents to respect their child’s privacy. However, giving your child access to a device and not monitoring their activity is something that parents should never do. It amounts to leaving a child on edge without any safety net.
Being with your child during the stressful process of examination preparation will lead to building a stronger bond with them. Let’s not lose this opportunity to gain their trust and confidence.