Mumbai: Young Children and technology, are inseparable in today’s era. There is no doubt parenting in the digital age can be very difficult. However, we are living in a time where things are getting digitized at a faster pace and it’s natural for the kids to get inclined towards it. This has led to kids spending an increasing amount of time on tablets and phones and in front of screens as opposed to playgrounds. With this in mind, KidZania Mumbai organised a Family Zummit this weekend.
With phenomenal Adults and Kids as Panelist, KidZania Mumbai’s Family Zummit comprised of two-panel discussions, the first one talking about “Parenting in the Digital Era” and the second one “Kids Talk – Lets Get Ready For A Better World”. The first panel was one with professionals that included Himanshu Dev (Educationalist), Nirali Bhatia (Cyber Psychologist & Counsellor), Hetal Chheda (Holistic Nutritionist), Mandar Natekar (CBO, KidZania India), Amruta Shirodkar (Consultant Paediatrician), Apourva Sinha (Zumba Instructor & Fitness trainer at Decathlon) and Ginee Wadhawan as the Moderator (Founder – Daughter are blessing foundation). The second panel was one of a kind with accomplished kids shedding light on how they are preparing for a better world. The Kids Panel included Riyansh Bhatia (Skating Champion), Bhavya Tupe (Brand Ambassador – Junior Fashion Week), Ananya Bhoir (Musician), Kriish Gada (National Level Rifle Shooter) and Gurpreet Ghura (Celebrity Makeup Artist).
Mandar Natekar, CBO KidZania India opines, “All of us should have the mentality of a child, being a child: being curious, being positive, being optimistic. I think KidZania down the line plays that role of bringing curiosity, imagination & happiness in our lives. Digitisation is a part of our lives, we can’t fight it, it’s best we embrace it.”
Himanshu Dev, Educationalist comments, “In our childhood we used to play Ghar-Ghar, doctor-doctor but in today’s time KidZania has made these kids play. We should allow our kids to ask questions to us and not push them away. Let them explore what they want to be when they grow up, what should they do let them patiently decide.”
Nirali Bhatia, Cyber Psychologist & Counsellor adds, “Parenting is not a duty or a responsibility, I believe it’s an art. Now in the digital era it’s challenging because the internet is here to stay. For instance, if the kids are travelling alone it is very convenient to track them via Uber rather than a Kaali – Peeli for safety purpose. We should talk to our kids and make them aware about the danger areas of technology. Don’t push away your kids when they ask you something even if you are busy tell them give me sometime I will get back to you”.
Hetal Chheda, Holistic Nutritionist said, “Nutrition is not only important for the child but it’s also important when you’re growing up for overall development. Everywhere we need proper nutrition. For us as parents we need to be a Role Model for our child, we can’t expect our kids to eat Dal Rice when we as parents are going to eat a Burger in front of our children. Similarly if you are active your kids will be active too. Nutrition is about being active and eating the right food. As a parent, you need to balance your kid’s diet. Don’t give junk all the time. When your child doesn’t want to eat don’t force them. Because if your child is actually hungry he/she will eat even a jowar bajra roti.”
Amruta Shirodkar, Consultant Paediatrician adds, “There is no upper age to consult a paediatrician, it’s a matter of comfort. Also there is a limit to screen time for kids, Upto 18 months there has to be zero exposure to screen. Upto 2 years only high media content is allowed under the supervision and from 2 to 5 years 1 hour screen time everyday which has to be more or less educational.”
Apuorva Sinha, Zumba Instructor & Fitness Trainer at Decathlon, “I found love for Zumba because I love dancing, I love music. Zumba is about having some movement, it could be yoga, it could be some sport if you love playing football. It’s all about moving. There is no hard and fast rule if you need it everyday but yes movement is something that you need regularly.”
This panel was followed by a panel of some accomplished kids who also shed light on how they are able to multitask and work towards making their world a better place.