FATHERHOOD A CHANGING DYNAMICS IN MODERN FAMILY

Simply putting food on the table just doesn’t cut it any more. Families expect much more of fathers today, especially now that there are more working mothers. Children demand more of their time and care, too. But regardless of whether they are the main breadwinner, modern dads increasingly view this as an opportunity to be better parents rather than simply a challenge in juggling work-life balance.

Father hood

On Father’s Day, Prajodh Rajan Co-founder and Group CEO, EuroKids International shares his view about the changing role of a new age father –

“As we are seeing the shift to nuclear families among millennials, new age fathers are breaking out of their traditional role of being a disciplinarian. Millennial fathers are enjoying a more nurturing role today. Nowadays, it’s common to see fathers actively participate in parenting, right from attending school PTA meetings, to parental leave or simply being more involved and nurturing on a day-to-day basis. And this is not just an urban phenomenon, at EuroKids pre-schools across India, we have observed that fathers are imbibing newer ways of interacting and connecting with their kids.”

Yet most dads, like moms, are trying to balance work and their parenting responsibilities. One in five kids at daycare have a dad identified as the primary caregiver, and most of these dads are employed. Modern dads are spending more time on both childcare and housework while balancing a career. More dads today change diapers, do school pick-up, help with homework, and have to be able to pick up a sick kid from preschool. With more time spent on childcare and housework and little reduction in time spent in the workplace, fathers are increasingly reporting work-life conflict. In a reversal, today’s fathers are more likely to report difficulties balancing work and family than mothers.

Greater Paternal Involvement

Numerous studies have shown the plentiful benefits that arise when fathers take an early hands-on role in parenting. Those who build a bond early with their child, are more likely to maintain this connection throughout their lifetime. A recent study by researchers at Monash University found that 85% of fathers surveyed said they would stop working to look after their baby for three months if there were no financial ramifications. Fathers in the new millennium want to be more involved, which is the first step towards the dream becoming a reality. Of course, it is possible to be involved even when a father is not the main care provider; staying at home with our children is just one option.

Different Types of Dad

The new millennium sees a growing awareness of different types of fathers. These include non-residential dads, divorced dads, and stepdads, and gay dads. Discrimination is dissipating and society has gained great awareness of the fact that great dads come in all shapes and sizes.

Choices in Education

The greater involvement of fathers in their children’s upbringing open a plethora of possibilities regarding education; parents are able to choose between options such as homeschooling vs conventional schooling. Additionally, the bond between fathers and children mean that values which are important to a father (for instance, the importance of nature and the environment, animal rights, human rights) can become an important part of a child’s education.

Father’s roles have changed vastly in the past few decades, with families having more choices in terms of childcare, roles in the home and the workplace, and education. We have come to know and accept several types of fathers in the new millennium, noting one factor that many have in common – greater involvement in their children’s lives.

 

 

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EYE CARE FOR YOUR KIDS – START EARLY

Children’s eye health begins in the newborn nursery and should continue throughout childhood. For many children, an evaluation by a pediatrician may be enough. But if a child has a family history of vision or eye problems or has symptoms, he or she may need to have an official eye examination. Although, if there are no possible factors or family history of eye problems, children need their vision checked at 6 months, 3 years, and before first grade.

During infancy, a child’s vision is constantly changing due to the growth of the eyeball. At two months of age, if the child is not looking at and smiling at the parents, the child should be taken to the paediatric ophthalmologists. There can be issues which need to be dealt immediately. Early intervention helps to treat effectively and help regain vision.

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The symptoms of possible vision problems in children include:

  • Going close to the television while watching
  • Making lot of spelling mistakes
  • Poor school performance
  • Difficulty when reading and writing
  • Trouble seeing information on the chalk board
  • Blurry or double vision
  • Headaches or eye pain
  • Taking books close to face

Myopia, commonly called near-sightedness, is the most common human eye disorder in the world, affecting 85% to 90% of young adults in Asian countries.

Nearsightedness (Myopia) and farsightedness (Hyperopia) have a genetic component, especially if a parent is very near sighted or far sighted. If both parents are near or far sighted, there is good chance their child will be the same way. Evidence supports heritability of myopia, especially for high-grade myopia (-5 D or higher).

But vision isn’t all in the genes.There are some significant environmental influences, such as near point work like reading or using near vision gadgets. Studies have shown that students who spend a lot of time reading develop near sightedness more quickly than their counterparts who spend a lot of time on outdoor play.All the near vision gadgets in the form of mobile phones, tabs, ipads, and laptops/computer have been associated with eye muscle weakness and refractive errors in the early ages.

More of outdoor activities need to be encouraged in children – as studies have proved higher levels of outdoor activity reduces the prevalence of refractive error in children.

Recent evidence suggests that the intensity of near work, i.e. sustained reading at closer distance (less than 30 cm) with fewer breaks may be more important factor in progressing the myopia than the total hours of near work.

Annual visits to the paediatrician are as important as visiting paediatric ophthalmologists to look for the proper development as well as for early detection of possible vision issues that could impair eyesight for life.

It’s now common for school-age children to use a computer or digital device for hours each day, and that doesn’t include time spent in front of a TV or gaming system at home. This increased exposure puts them at greater risk for Computer Vision Syndrome, or CVS—a serious condition that can cause back and neck pain, dry eyes, and even headaches.

Tips to Prevent Computer Vision Syndrome

–          As with TV viewing, computer use should be timed ( half-an-hour a day)

–          Keep the monitor clean and use a glare-reducing monitor filter.

–          Frequent breaks – For every 20minutes of work 20 seconds of a break  .

–          The computer screen should be 20-24 inches from your child’s face. And, his or her feet need to touch the floor. There should be a slight downward angle from face to screen.

–          If the child wears prescription glasses—for computer use or otherwise—make sure he or she has them on.

Do’s and Don’ts for parents:

  1. Allow the kids to play outdoor for a longer time.
  2. Make the children to take breaks in between when they are sitting at a stretch for studying.
  3. Don’t allow the kids to sit with near vision gadgets like mobile phones, tabs, ipads, and laptops/computer.
  4. Don’t allow them to sit with novels or tales stories for a longer time in a day
  5. Don’t wait for the children to say out that their vision is poor. They may not do so, as they usually think that the world is seen the same way by everybody. Annual check up with the ophthalmologist is mandatory.
  6. Don’t allow them to read in dim lighted conditions, in wrong postures and taking books so close to the face.
  7. Whenever there is any redness/any problem in the eyes, don’t do self medication. Take them to the doctor.
  8. If there is any squint (i.e. misaligned eyes), though its being since birth, take the child to the ophthalmologist as soon you detect it.
  9. If the child is given glasses, take the child for regular eye checkups every 6 months to detect the changes in the refractive error and change the glasses accordingly. Since the children’s eyes are growing, the changes in the power of the glasses occur till about teenage years.

Early Childhood Association (ECA) demands ” one nation one policy” from the Govt

Social activist Shabana Azmi has always believed that ‘children’s issues must not remain invisible and unrecognised.’  Her presence to inaugurate the Early Childhood Association (ECA) conference, is to underline issues facing India’s children- and therefore the ecosystem of Early Childhood Care & Education in India.

Dr.ReetaSonawat DrSwatiPopatVats ShabanaAzmi Dr.KaminiRege AshaMehta DrRekhaShahani

At the event, Azmi  along with Dr. Swati Popat Vats, President of ECA Dr.Reeta Sonawat, Executive Director of ECA, Dr.Kamini Rege, Treasurer of ECA,  Asha Varma Secretary of ECA and Rekha Shahani, Joint Secretary of ECA, launched the following;-

  1. The Early Childhood Association Comprehensive Quality Audit tool for Preschools/ Kindergartens / ECE centres.
  2. Teacher Training Module for Early Childhood Care and Education
  3. Early Childhood Education Teacher Training Enrichment App

Speaking at the event, Shabana Azmi said, ” I grew up in a humble background, and my mother and father both worked hard. Once when I got a zero, in my report card, my mother said, ‘she’s not dumb, she’s protesting.’ How many parents listen to their children today- like mine did? I run a school in Mizwan, Azamgadh. I have seen that we need to reach our children, compassion, mindfulness, emotional intelligence and the ability to work with people around them.”

Dr Swati Popat Vats clarified the purpose of the conference and said, ” The government should be able to have “one nation one policy” for curriculum, age of entry, teacher training and assessment for early years. I humbly request Shabana Azmiji to represent us to the powers that be.”

The following were the key discussions of the day- by the National Committee of The ECA and over 600 participants in the hall.

1 Schools from grade one have a board affiliation (though the boards in India affiliate only from grade 7 or 8) but the preschool is without any affiliation except in the case of IB (International Baccalaureate) that affiliates from Nursery onwards.

2 So with no affiliations or accreditations in place how can one be sure of quality of curriculum or safety or other developmentally appropriate standards that affect the development of young children? Can we have affiliation board/s for Early Childhood Education.

3 We have a well drafted Early Childhood Policy and Curriculum by the Union Ministry of Women and Child Development? Our problem is that one ministry at the state level does not handle education. Early childhood care is handled by WCD but early childhood education is not looked into by anyone at the state level!

ShabanaAzmiSpeaksAtECA6thInternationalConference

4 This leaves no choice-  so preschools have to make their own curriculum or become ‘preparatory centers’ for first standard . And here in lies our problem, because Toddlers as young as two years are made to hold pencils and go over dotted lines in worksheets. Three year olds are made to recite rhymes in front of a class and then graded and marked on their ‘performance’. Children are taught number 1 and then number 7, skipping the rest in between because standing line numbers should be taught together! Completely overlooking the fact that letters need not be taught in the A to Z format but numbers need to be taught in the order of counting or else children will not have a foundational base of what number comes before, after etc. This is the confused state of preschool curriculum.

5 If you ask the preschools they blame it on parents, it’s the parents that want their child to read and write at an early age.

6 Having an affiliation board for preschools in our country would be a logical solution that would benefit all three stakeholders- children, parents and preschools. The government can still license the schools or take care of the NOC requirements but the curriculum, philosophy and other important aspects can be done by the affiliation/accreditation board of ECE

7 So what would be the parameters of this affiliation of ECE centers? Globally the largest association that affiliates most of the preschools in USA is naeyc.org (National Association for the Education of Young Children). Our preschool Quality audit is in line with the naeyc 10 quality standards that are:

 

Relationships

Curriculum

Teaching

Assessment of child progress

Health

Staff competencies, preparation and support

Families

Community relationships

Physical environment

Leadership and management

Their  process of affiliation/ accreditation is as follows:

  1. A self-study,
  2. An application (and fees),
  3. A validation visit to verify information,
  4. And yearly certification through written documentation.
  5. Upon receiving official accreditation, the provider receives a certificate that verifies status.

Early Childhood Association (www.eca-india.org) now  has a quality audit tool and has quality audited more than 400 private preschools in India, so definitely they can take it up on a larger scale. An updated version was launched at the conference today.  (attached)

In addition to these discussions, several awards were given away today at the Early Childhood Association recognizing the exemplary contributions of personalities doing exceptional work in the field of early childhood education whether it is safety, inclusive education or overall contribution.

1 Felicitating the author – Ms Neeha Gupta- youth ambassador Kailash Satyarthi Childrens Foundation.

2 Most Committed NGO in Early Childhood Education –  CANKIDS, Childs rights foundation, Life Trust

3 Most Committed journalist in Early Childhood Care and Education-  Ms Vinaya Patil – Sakal News – Pune and Ms Jhinuk Mazumdar – The Telegraph – Kolkatta

4 Exemplary contribution in  Early Childhood Care and Education – Ms Zarin Malva and Ms Lina Ashar

5 Exemplary contribution towards Safety in Early years- IPS Ms Aparajita Rai and Betterplace

6 Most committed CDPO – Preeti Ben ( Bhavnagar)

7 Most committed supervisor from ICDS – Laxmi Bai ( Telangana)

Clearly the ECA wants to achieve the point where all preschools (private or government) are meeting or exceeding quality and safety standards.

But the goal has to be real and have sustained improvement, not knee jerk reactions, nor quick fixes and that is possible with affiliation boards that are established by associations or universities that have early childhood experts on board and the research and man power to sustain this in the long run.

 

Prenatal Yoga Can Helps Mother To Hold Flexibility Wellness And Connect With Baby

Yoga is a regularly known non-specific term for the physical, mental, and profound practices or teaches which began in ancient India with a view to accomplishing a condition of lasting peace. It is rehearsed in a wide range of courses everywhere throughout the world. Yoga has additionally been prevalently characterized as “union with the celestial”.

prenatal yoga gran canaria 1

Pre-birth yoga is a multifaceted way to deal with a practice that empowers, mental focusing and centered relaxing. The research proposes that pre-birth yoga is protected and can have many advantages for pregnant ladies and their infants.

Prenatal yoga can:

• Reduce stress and tension

• Increase the quality, adaptability, and continuance of muscles required for labor

• Decrease  back agony, sickness, pelvic passage disorder manifestations, cerebral pains

• When matched with a cardiovascular exercise, for example, strolling or swimming, yoga can be a perfect approach to remain fit as a fiddle among your pregnancy. This well-established practice keeps you flexible, tones your muscles, and enhances your adjust and flow, with little, assuming any, an effect on your joints.

Prenatal yoga can likewise enable you to meet and bond with other pregnant ladies and get ready for the worry of being another parent. Being in a positive, steady condition with others like you, can give you a consistent passionate lift and keep you inspired to keep working out.

Yoga is additionally valuable since it causes you figure out how to inhale profoundly and relax, which helps amid work, birth, and parenthood. A standard yoga practice will enable you to battle the inclination to take care of when you feel pain, and express to you proper methodologies to relax. Yoga enables the body to manage optimum heart and breathing rates and bringing down circulatory strain which can profit new mothers after the infant’s conceived, as well.

prenatal-yoga-with-Ilena-amsterdam-oost

Yoga well-being precautionary measures amid pregnancy Similarly as with any activity, you have to avoid potential risk when you’re pregnant.

• Consult your obstetrician before beginning any type of activity.

• Always have a teacher who is prepared in prenatal yoga.

• Keep yourself all around hydrated.

• Avoid overheating. Wear free garments.

• Avoid asanas which include lying on your back for a longer time. Additionally, skip positions that extend the muscular strength excessively, for example, profound forward and back curves and profound turns.

• Discontinue immediately on the off chance that you encounter pain in belly or draining of liquid from the vagina.

Pre-birth yoga can be begun in the principal trimester, i.e., from the time you get pregnant, and can be proceeded till the day of conveyance. Afterward, it can be supplanted by postnatal yoga, after the time of puerperium.

Inputs By Dr. Divya Sharad , Medical Officer at Swami Parmanand Nature cure and Yoga center is a guided Health and wellness center offering lifestyle programs through Complementary and Alternative healing principles of Naturopathy, Yoga, Ayurveda etc. People of all ages can visit the premises.

Helping Your Child with Autism -Dr. Vandana Sharma, Director- Principal Mata Bhagwanti Chadha Niketan

There are many things parents can do to help children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) overcome their challenges. But it’s also important to make sure you get the support you need. When you’re looking after a child with ASD, taking care of yourself is not a luxury or an act of selfishness—it’s a necessity. Being emotionally strong allows you to be the best parent you can be to your child in need. These parenting tips can help by making life with an autistic child easier.

f you’ve recently learned that your child has or might have autism spectrum disorder, you’re probably wondering and worrying about what comes next. No parent is ever prepared to hear that a child is anything other than happy and healthy, and an ASD diagnosis can be particularly frightening. You may be unsure about how to best help your child, or confused by conflicting treatment advice. Or you may have been told that ASD is an incurable, lifelong condition, leaving you concerned that nothing you do will make a difference.

2-Specially-abled children at MBCN

While it is true that ASD is not something a person simply “grows out of,” there are many treatments that can help children acquire new skills and overcome a wide variety of developmental challenges. From free government services to in-home behavioral therapy and school-based programs, assistance is available to meet your child’s special needs. With the right treatment plan, and a lot of love and support, your child can learn, grow, and thrive.

Connecting with a child with ASD can be challenging, but you don’t need to talk—or even touch—in order to communicate and bond. You communicate by the way you look at your child, by the tone of your voice, your body language – and possibly the way you touch your child. Your child is also communicating with you, even if he or she never speaks. You just need to learn the language.

Look for nonverbal cues. If you are observant and aware, you can learn to pick up on the nonverbal cues that children with ASD use to communicate. Pay attention to the kinds of sounds they make, their facial expressions, and the gestures they use when they’re tired, hungry, or want something.

Figure out the motivation behind the tantrum. It’s only natural to feel upset when you are misunderstood or ignored, and it’s no different for children with ASD. When children with ASD act out, it’s often because you’re not picking up on their nonverbal cues. Throwing a tantrum is their way of communicating their frustration and getting your attention.

Make time for fun. A child coping with ASD is still a child. For both children with ASD and their parents, there needs to be more to life than therapy. Schedule playtime when your child is most alert and awake. Figure out ways to have fun together by thinking about the things that make your child smile, laugh, and come out of her/his shell. Your child is likely to enjoy these activities most if they don’t seem therapeutic or educational. There are tremendous benefits that result from your enjoyment of your child’s company and from your child’s enjoyment of spending unpressured time with you. Play is an essential part of learning for all children and shouldn’t feel like work.

Pay attention to your child’s sensory sensitivities. Many children with ASD are hypersensitive to light, sound, touch, taste, and smell. Some children with autism are “under-sensitive” to sensory stimuli. Figure out what sights, sounds, smells, movements, and tactile sensations trigger your kid’s “bad” or disruptive behaviors and what elicits a positive response. What does your child find stressful? Calming? Uncomfortable? Enjoyable? If you understand what affects your child, you’ll be better at troubleshooting problems, preventing situations that cause difficulties, and creating successful experiences.

Dealing with Autistic children: Technology provides the best support

What is the driving force behind the largest rehabilitation charitable institution for differently abled in India? Its firm belief and empathy! Mata Bhagwanti Chadha Niketan (MBCN) runs on its founder’s belief that any barrier comes first at the mental level; social, intellectual or physical barriers come later. Of all the different disabilities, the institution has an expert team to deal with autistic children. In MBCN there is a special section of children with autism to address special needs of 94 such children out of 1000 children with different disabilities.

Provide structure and safety

Learning all you can about autism and getting involved in treatment will go a long way toward helping your child. Additionally, the following tips will make daily home life easier for both you and your child with ASD:

Be consistent. Children with ASD have a hard time applying what they’ve learned in one setting (such as the therapist’s office or school) to others, including the home. For example, your child may use sign language at school to communicate, but never think to do so at home. Creating consistency in your child’s environment is the best way to reinforce learning. Find out what your child’s therapists are doing and continue their techniques at home. Explore the possibility of having therapy take place in more than one place in order to encourage your child to transfer what he or she has learned from one environment to another. It’s also important to be consistent in the way you interact with your child and deal with challenging behaviors.

Stick to a schedule. Children with ASD tend to do best when they have a highly-structured schedule or routine. Again, this goes back to the consistency they both need and crave. Set up a schedule for your child, with regular times for meals, therapy, school, and bedtime. Try to keep disruptions to this routine to a minimum. If there is an unavoidable schedule change, prepare your child for it in advance.

Reward good behavior. Positive reinforcement can go a long way with children with ASD, so make an effort to “catch them doing something good.” Praise them when they act appropriately or learn a new skill, being very specific about what behavior they’re being praised for. Also look for other ways to reward them for good behavior, such as giving them a sticker or letting them play with a favorite toy.

Create a home safety zone. Carve out a private space in your home where your child can relax, feel secure, and be safe. This will involve organizing and setting boundaries in ways your child can understand. Visual cues can be helpful (colored tape marking areas that are off limits, labeling items in the house with pictures). You may also need to safety proof the house, particularly if your child is prone to tantrums or other self-injurious behavior

What is Mata Bhagwanti Chadha Niketan ?

Mata Bhagwanti Chadha Niketan is one institution in India where rehabilitation of more than 1000 specially-abled children is undertaken. Spread over an area of 1 acre, this is a part of The Ponty Chadha Foundation under the philanthropic wing of the Wave Group.  As its corporate social responsibility, the group trains the autistic children to develop social and communication skills in addition to academic and independent life skill training so that they can mingle with the society in a positive way. It is a charitable organization that is dedicated to take care of these children. It is the largest day-care special school.

The staff closely works for holistic and complete learning for them which aims at maximizing the potential in activities related to daily living, communication, social understanding, play and leisure. The training programmes start with an initial assessment of the child. Based on the child’s strengths, behaviours, learning patterns, and the teaching and learning methods best suited to him/her, an Individualized Educational Plan is made keeping in mind the child’s current needs as well as the parents’ immediate concerns.

The school believes that if people with autism are to have an opportunity to reach their maximum potential, the community of parents, siblings, other relatives, and professionals will have to continue to work together as a team.

http://www.mbcnschool.org/

Use of technology

The school uses latest assistive technology to improve expression in children with autism. The school has developed an android application VAAKYA which can be used as a very effective and useful tool for alternative augmentative communication especially for individuals with autism. It can be an asset to them to express themselves.

VAAKYA is an extremely diverse and flexible AAC application which does not rely on internet connectivity. The custom information added to the application such as user accounts/actions are stored within the application itself. This utilizes the phone’s own memory, thereby marginally increasing the size of the application depending on user accounts/actions created.

Multiple User Accounts: Educators/rehabilitation professionals, can add multiple students/patients to the application with unique actions and speech relate-able to each individual. This reduces cost as most applications available can register only one user on each device and would require multiple devices for different individuals.

Language Flexibility: Speech associated with actions can be recorded and played back in any language.

Image/Action flexibility: Images for actions can be replaced with existing images on your device or through your device camera directly. Additional actions can be added to each user account.

Flexibility of use: Parents/guardians can use the application differently by adding situations instead of users and images associated with each situation for the individual.

Integrated shopping portal

The school website, apart from providing quick and easy access to the essential information about the school, therapies, success stories, counselling, etc., now also includes an integrated shopping portal. This portal allows customers to buy hand-made products made by the special children of the school. These products are the outcome of years of vocational training which is given to the special children and the profit earned from the sale of these products is given to the differently abled person. With the help of this portal, people can admire work of these special children. The shopping menu consists of different product categories like wedding gifts, packaging items, office stationery, paper bags and other gift products. Product details like price, size and other specifications have been mentioned along with customers review as well. The prospective buyers can log on to the school’s website and select the products and add to the shopping cart using the simple user interface.

Inputs –  Dr. Vandana Sharma, Director- Principal Mata Bhagwanti Chadha Niketan

 

Spark the creative instinct of your child with just one box!

Build your child’s creativity with LEGO’s The Build Amazing Starter Set for kids

A child needs to have a creative flair to think out of the box, to see what no one else can, and to make happen what no one possibly had ever imagined… and it all begins right from childhood. Enabling your kid to model his or her unique creativity at the most opportune moment, LEGO, the iconic building block manufacturer has launched Build Amazing Starter Sets in India. Priced between INR 399 to INR 2,500, the unisex building set for the age groups of 4 to 12 years is available at Hamleys, Funskool, Crossword, and Landmark toy stores all across India and also on online platforms such as Flipkart and Amazon.

sec-38 GIP mall me What_s more - Take home LEGO Mascot, Charlie The Chameleonprogramme 7

A very remarkable activity is happening in your brain right now. It is transmitting electrical signals via synapses from one neuron to another. But putting even you to envy, the little toddler sitting right next to you has more brain connections than you do at present. How many will remain by the time he or she reaches your age? And more importantly, will the ones that make him or her an inventive leader stick around? It only depends on how he or she is making use of the brain power at the moment. LEGO’s Build Amazing Starter Sets are the perfect way to ensure that your child’s inherent cognitive and cerebral strengths are honed right and are given that perfect razor-sharp edge.

At the launch, LEGO spokesperson said, “A child’s brain is unrestrained from the shackles of formal structuring that we’ve all passed through over the period of time. It is an undiscovered realm deriving some of the most unique ideas, and laying the foundation of the very innovative instinct that all of us strive for. But the only way to tap their inventiveness is by enabling them to model their brain’s creation and turn them into real-life structures. LEGO’s Build Amazing Starter Sets, with its most eclectic building set, is the perfect tool to do the same. With the launch of LEGO’s latest offering, to make your child think out of the box, now all you need to do is open one.”

LEGO’s Build Amazing Starter Sets are in line with the brand’s overarching objective to nurture children’s creativity and unlock their true potential for a successful future. You can also bear witness to this change as your young one turns the LEGO blocks in the shape of a rocket, a candy cloud, flying house, a tree, a spacecraft or even a full-fledged township your child no longer has to hold back his or her creative ideas. The easy-to-build figures are based on more than an 85 years expertise of the global manufacturer and employ the use of child safe materials.

93% of Indian Parents Admit To Talking To Their Children About The Dangers Of Cyber-Criminals And Identity Theft

NEWS HIGHLIGHTS

  • 84% of Indian parents allow their child to bring an internet-connected device to bed
  • 54% of Indian parents claim they have discovered that their child visited an inappropriate website; highest when compared to 13 other countries
  • Only 36% of Indian parents admit to using software to monitor their children’s activity on their devices.

INDIA- APRIL 26, 2017 – McAfee today released findings from a recent global study, “New Family Dynamics in a Connected World,” that aims to better comprehend how families’ attitudes and habits are evolving as their homes and lifestyles become increasingly connected.  This study underscores the need for simple ways for parents to manage internet connectivity in their homes – from blocking inappropriate sites to controlling the amount of time users spend on their devices.

The growing integration of connected devices in the lives of children is paving way for unique and hackable gateways for cybercriminals into the smart home network of consumers. Gartner forecasts that “there will be more than 10.5 billion ‘things’ in homes by 2020,” which, we believe, would further create a larger potential risk that the devices and personal data, that flow from them, can be compromised. While internet-connected devices offer consumers new opportunities, they can also come with some drawbacks and potential risks that can be the detriment of relationships.

“In today’s connected world, parents play a crucial role to decide on the usage of technology and how it can influence their kids’ lives,” said Anand Ramamoorthy, Managing Director, South Asia, McAfee. “As Indians shift towards smart connected homes, we must help parents actively manage the way their families interact with connected devices to ensure that security and privacy measures are implemented. When these measures are realized consumers can enjoy the full potential that connected devices and smart homes have to offer.”

Current Monitoring Methods Don’t Keep Pace with Technology

  • Parents tend to use older methods to monitor the device usage of their children. For example, 59% of Indian parents monitor their child’s device usage by keeping the device in their possession and only giving the child the device when the parent can monitor. Only 36% of Indian parents are using software to monitor.
  • 49% of Indian parents are concerned about their child potentially interacting with a social predator or cybercriminal online.

Today’s Digital Habits Cause New Parenting Concerns

  • Bedtime habits have changed a lot since the introduction of smartphones and tablets. 84% of Indian parents allow their child to bring an internet-connected device to bed.
  • Not only are parents concerned about who their children are interacting with online, they are also monitoring how much time they spend in front of a screen. 57% of Indian parents allow their child to have 1-2 hours of screen time per day, and 21% allow their child less than one hour a day.
  • The need for monitoring internet usage is real, though, with 54% of Indian parents claiming they have discovered that their child visited an inappropriate website, highest when compared to 13 other countries:

o   Australia (26%), Brazil (45%), Canada (25%), France (41%), Germany (33%), Italy (33%), Japan (18%), Mexico (35%), Netherlands (26%), Singapore (37%), Spain (32%), U.S. (37%), U.K. (23%)

  • 50% of Indians stated that they have argued with their child about bringing a device to bed.
  • Conversely, kids aren’t the only ones who are using devices when they shouldn’t: Approximately 71% of  Indian parents surveyed also claimed that their child has called them out for being on their device during family time.

The Good News: Online Safety Conversations Are Happening Between Parents and Children

  • Indian parents understand the importance of talking to their children about the potential dangers on the internet, with roughly 93% having addressed the risks with their children at some point.

Tips to Keep Families Secure in Year Ahead

To stay protected in the evolving online world, McAfee has the following tips for parents:

  • Start conversations early. If you start talking about online safety early on, it will make your job that much easier when your children get older. If your kids are young, you can start with simple rules like “don’t open emails from people you don’t know.” Treat rules for online behavior just like any other rules. You want online safety to be part of normal behavior.
  • Set a good example.It’s easy to get caught up spending a lot of time paying attention to our smartphones and tablets.  Kids pick up our habits, both good and bad, so you can set a positive example for them by limiting your time on social networks around them.  Putting down the phone during dinner and family time will let your children know the importance of interacting with others in person as opposed to online.
  • Set password rules.To show camaraderie and trust, teens may share their social media passwords with friends or acquaintances. Friend or not, this is a dangerous practice. Put a consequence in place for breaking this critical password rule.
  • Gain access.Parents should have passwords for their children’s social media accounts and passcodes to their children’s devices which allow them to have full access.
  • Up your tech knowledge.Stay one step ahead and take the time to research the various devices your kids use, as well as creating your social media accounts. Staying knowledgeable about the newest and latest social networks is an important way to understand how they work and may help you determine whether your kids are on them.
  • Keep strangers out.  As children use technology so frequently they can become desensitized and let their guard down, potentially allowing the wrong people into their circle. Your child could be interacting with (and manipulated by) a social predator or dangerous person posing as a teen (catfish). A false sense of security can set in not just on social networks it applies to services such as Uber*, Lyft*, and Craig’s List*, where safety is an assumption. Remind kids that anyone can create a profile and to turn down friend requests from strangers.
  • Take control of your home network.The home network is the hub for all of your connected devices. New solutions, such as McAfee Secure Home Platform, help you easily manage and protect devices connected to this network while providing parental controls with permissions that can be tailored to the entire household.