Curbing kids' use of e-devices an increasingly uphill task

I could not agree more with Madam Lee Hui Ling (E-learning makes control of child's Internet access difficult; Aug 3).

As parents who believe in letting our son, who is in Kindergarten 2, explore the world without introducing him to electronic devices at a young age, we made a conscious decision to not have any such devices in the house.

His playtime is centred on school mates and the playground or parks. We take him to the library weekly so he can appreciate physical books.

We have been told that our son is usually attentive in class and that he interacts well with his classmates and teachers.

We attribute this to the non-usage of electronic devices as well as a healthy sleep routine.

As an active volunteer in his school, I know of young children who struggle to pay attention or are tired in class owing to sleep deprivation after too much exposure to electronic devices.

The lure of the Internet is truly formidable in capturing the attention of the young ones.

It is very difficult to limit the time a child spends on the Internet when it comes to schoolwork because it is a legitimate need. The colourful and lively interactivity also makes it hard for the child to stop using it .

It is very difficult to limit the time a child spends on the Internet when it comes to schoolwork because it is a legitimate need. The colourful and lively interactivity also makes it hard for the child to stop using it beyond schoolwork.

So the use of e-learning during the early primary school years could exacerbate the Internet addiction problem.

Recently, my son, who is enrolled in a Chinese language enrichment centre, was given a letter informing parents that an e-learning tool would be replacing the classon the National Day holiday.

When I called the centre to ask if my son could join a physical class instead - as I believe learning and retention are more effective with real interaction and communication with classmates and the teacher - I was told it could not be arranged.

While parents who understand the perils of the excessive use of the Internet or electronic devices can try to limit their child's usage, it is becoming an increasingly uphill task.

Lee Swee Mei (Ms)

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 06, 2018, with the headline 'Curbing kids' use of e-devices an increasingly uphill task'. Print Edition | Subscribe