“Toxic Childhood” – renowned British psychologist Sue Palmer had first used this phrase in 2006 in her book to predict how dangerous addiction to screens can be for little children. 10 years later when heavy smog has engulfed Delhi (India) and air pollution becomes evidently visible, parents across the capital have started using the same terminology to express concern about the air their children are breathing.
We now understand the serious impact of air pollution on our children as it is visible in breathing issues and recurrent cough within days or weeks. However, many of us in India and some other parts of the world are yet not aware of the adverse irreversible impact of screen addiction on physical and mental health of our children because it remains invisible for years.
We all know that being a low tech parent today is real hard work, particularly during meal times, when involved in household or official work at home, or when our children are trapped indoors owing to poor air quality or other environmental conditions. Technology usage for restricted hours may not be bad for children, but more often than not parents find it challenging to moderate usage or are unable to detect when entertainment becomes addiction. For small children, the consequences can be serious.
Through expert research articles and real life case examples of parents, toxic childhood attempts to make the invisible visible to help parents identify the early signs of screen addiction and save the children from its ill effects. LitJoys is an initiative to provide ideas to parents around how to prevent addiction to technology and keep their children engaged using design solutions and learning ideas shared by parents based on their personal experiences. The book making and other learning ideas shared through the initiative also helps parents to constructively engage their children indoors, on days when pollution levels in their city are very high or during extreme weather conditions, safeguarding them from toxic air and other environmental hazards and ensuring both their physical and mental well being.
For quick ideas around how to engage children without screens, please follow our Instagram feed @litjoys and #savetoxicchildhood
If you have a case example to share around impact of screen addiction, please drop an email at firstname.lastname@example.org