Digital Addiction Awareness Session for Parents At Bethany High
May 15, 2024
Bethany Institutions

The Counselling Department of Bethany Institutions organized sessions on ‘Digital Addiction’ awareness for parents of students in grades 4 -10 and NIOS of Bethany High, Koramangala, and grades 4 – 9 of Bethany High, Sarjapur. These sessions aimed to educate parents about the potential risks and signs of digital addiction among children and to provide strategies for fostering healthy digital habits at home. Parents actively participated in this session, eager to learn about navigating the digital landscape with their children.

 

Session Overview

The session was conducted by Mrs Rohina Thomas, the Senior Counsellor and Head of Student Development at Bethany Institutions. The presentation began with a startling video portraying the prevalence of drugs, violence, expletives as well as sexually explicit content in popular teen media. Statistics and case examples from the Bethany students were shared to illustrate the seriousness of the issue. Parents were guided through common signs of digital addiction, including how digital addiction can hinder children's cognitive, emotional, and social development. Parents gained insights into the long-term consequences of unchecked screen time on their child's growth and behaviour. Emphasis was placed on the crucial role parents play in mitigating digital addiction. Strategies such as setting boundaries, modelling healthy tech habits, and fostering open communication with children were discussed. Practical tips and techniques were shared to establish a balanced home digital environment. This included creating tech-free zones, setting screen time limits, and encouraging alternative activities such as outdoor play and hobbies. Parents were offered a list of alternative activities to keep their children meaningfully engaged during the summer break. The presentation concluded with a lively Q&A session, during which parents sought clarification on specific concerns and received personalized advice from the speaker.

 

Conclusion

The digital addiction awareness session was a valuable opportunity for parents to gain insight, tools, and support in navigating the complexities of raising children in a digital age. By empowering parents with knowledge and strategies, the counselling team aims to foster healthier relationships with technology within families.

 

 

Feedback from Parents:

Digital Detox was a real eye-opener. A few years back, when we thought of digital detox, our focus was on kids’ screen time, but this time, we were shocked to know what our kids watched. No matter how strict or lenient we were due to peer pressure, or out of curiosity, kids would have misused the gadgets. The digital detox session was very helpful for us. Although I had previously discussed certain dos and don’ts with my daughter, this session briefed us more, which was helpful. Ultimately, since we are not perfect in every aspect of parenting, such sessions will give us confidence and support to at least say no to the kids’ unwanted demands. Discouraging sleepovers was one more happy thing since I don’t send my daughter, but she feels sad when her friends go. I request Akash sir to have this session for kids very often kindly.

Parent of Lakshita Appaiah. Std IX-A (2024-25)

 

The Digital addiction talk conducted on April 3rd, 2024, was a great session by Mrs. Rohina and her team. I walked in with the thought that I was wasting my time when I could have catered to my professional needs at the time.  But it was definitely worth the time spent.  I had an insight into how my child is PLAYING WITH DANGER every time he uses the phone / iPad. Nevertheless, the guilt that I always had that if my son said I was bored, it meant that I could not keep him occupied was addressed holistically. It was shocking to know the videos/games/movies the kids should not see running into numerous slides of the PowerPoint presentation (the counsellors have done their homework well).

Our alpha generation kids, born into a world of advancing technology, growing up with AI, smartphones, and instant access to entertainment, is sort to be exposed to the threats of technology, but as Dr Akash rightly said, if we use technology as a tool and not as a toy, we are sure to be safe. We, the parents, have to be an example to our kids and help them become DIGITALLY DEADDICTED, so sessions like this were very helpful and gave some insights on how to tackle some day-to-day situations. Thanks again, Bethany, for going the extra mile for our kids.

Dr Florence Jeffy, parent of Steve Boniface Marley – 4B

 

The session was very valuable, especially when combined with insights on digital detox and setting healthy boundaries. It sheds light on the importance of distinguishing between technology that enriches our children’s lives as a tool and that which serves merely as a distraction or entertainment. This discernment has empowered us to guide our children towards more constructive screen time activities confidently. Furthermore, the session offered practical strategies for implementing a digital detox routine, emphasizing the need for regular intervals of technology-free time to foster real-world interactions and connections. Learning how to draw boundaries and politely say “no” to certain digital content or screen time requests has been a game-changer. It helped us communicate the value of moderation and the reasons behind our decisions without causing resentment. This approach has led to a more balanced digital environment at home, where technology enhances learning and family time rather than detracting from it.

Rashmi, Mother of Sai Khushi – 10C

 

I write this to express my sincere gratitude to the faculty at Bethany High for the exceptional session on Digital Detox conducted for parents. Director Dr. Akash Ryall and Principal Mr. Robert Khin are those rare educators who pursue every student’s welfare and do it wholeheartedly. With a deliberate and judicious vision to unplug our children from their digital devices at the start of their summer vacation, and to mindfully engage them in offline activities, the session began with a short, powerful clip on the harrowing scenes embedded in the minds of our kids whilst they watch seemingly standard shows, or play routine online games, or scroll through habitual social media pages or YouTube reels. That video was stomach-churning. The school’s head counsellor, Mrs. Rohina Thomas, dwelled deeply on too much screen time and its well-known increase in anxiety and depression among young teens. From monitoring our children’s digital usage to modelling good behaviour, she persistently reminded us to guide our youngsters to use technology as a tool, not as a toy. There are a few schools that care for more than academics, and Bethany ranks high in this area. I know that every parent walked away feeling supported in the daunting parenting dynamics in today’s world. With credible solutions offered by the team at Bethany, we are empowered to tackle and take on the summer break ahead of us. Well done, and thanks for partnering with us to raise the next generation.

Anita Ebenezer, Mother of Aryan (Gr 9E) and Milan (Gr 7)

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