Antidote to Screen

Antidote to Screen

As my daughter and husband went away on their trip to Sabarimala, my 5 yo son and I were left behind, trying to make the best of our time at home.

I knew that if I didn’t insist on it, my son would definitely be hooked to the phone, TV, tab, laptop, phone, TV, laptop, tab… His usual playmates were out on vacation and I was at times held up with my work

I made a deal with him that the day his elder sister would leave, we would visit the zoo. Anand was game for it. He ensured he finished his day at school without tantrums (his teacher found him exceptionally well behaved that day)

And then we took the train to Vandalur , to the Arignar Anna Zoological Park. The moment we stepped in, his legs ached and I was wondering how to exactly walk him through the zoo. Bingo, I spotted the rental bicycles and within no time, Anand was riding on the backseat of a nice smooth bicycle that I rode (probably the first time after my school days)

He made careful mental notes on what each zoo inmate ate, and which area in a forest would they occupy, if left in wilderness ( he clearly made out that zebras, giraffes, elephants probably belonged to the grasslands and lions, tigers and panthers were at the top of the animal food chain)

He didn’t ask for water and food, and completely forgot about his footache. We had spent 4 hours in the zoo, zooming around in the forest like environs, with Anand wondering why the leopard doesn’t behave like the one he saw in his animal cartoons.

And the day ended with sound eating and peaceful sleeping

Anand made up his mind: I’m going to become a zoo keeper and protect animals and forests.
And it dawned on me: Kids probably need to be amidst nature- the mud, the trees, the water and the birds and animals- for them to let their imagination run wild- at the same pace as their expanding brains.

Like any other parent, I shudder at the imagination of the unconscious screen exposure these kids gain and I see only one solution to it: Nature’s Lap.

Can we create some green space around us, amongst all the concrete jungles, just for our kids?

Awaiting your thoughts on this..

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