Tech

Disconnect from the digital world and reconnect with your family

ParentCircle is back with its third edition of the #GadgetFreeHour Campaign for Change. This family-connect initiative was a resounding success last year, with over a
million parents and 41,635+ schools participating in the event. This time, too, the movement is gaining momentum with #GadgetFreeHour garnering over 10 Million impressions
on social media already. And this is just the beginning. This year, #GadgetFreeHour is happening on November 20, 2021, with the number of participants set to exceed 50 MILLION. Read on for details…

The coronavirus pandemic is far from over and the way we live our lives has been completely redefined. From the beginning of the pandemic, people of all ages have spent significantly more time living through their screens. More screen time isn’t a choice anymore, but a necessity for families. Just the time, we thought, for everyone to take a step back and reconnect with their families by participating in #GadgetFreeHour.

ShiParentCircle is inviting everyone to celebrate with us the priceless parent-child bond by participating in the #GadgetFreeHour drive on November 20 (World Children’s Day), 2021, between 7.30 pm and 8.30 pm. In this one hour, families will disconnect from their gadgets and spend time with their children – playing, talking, eating and laughing together; rediscovering the pleasure of each other’s company in a fun way.

The Tamil Nadu Government Education Department is extending its support for the #GadgetFreeHour initiative by sharing a message to all the schools urging teachers and parents, along with their children, to take a break from their hectic online schedules to spend that one hour with their families. The Puducherry Government has also joined hands in this initiative and is keen on spreading the go-gadget-free message across all schools in the Union Territory.

Private schools and educational institutions, corporates, NGOs, cine stars, sportspersons, and scores of parents have also pledged to go gadget-free for that one hour on November 20, 2021. Everyone unanimously agrees that though we were all home together during the pandemic, we were in many ways disconnected from our family members – particularly our children – due to our extreme dependence on technology.

With the parents busy working from home and the children busy with online classes,
everyone has been cocooned in a ‘connected’ world of their own. Therefore, this initiative

is very much the need of the hour. It is imperative that parents set aside some time to reconnect with their children and family members without the distraction of gadgets beeping and pinging away. That is why we, at ParentCircle, feel that the #GadgetFreeHour, which started a Disconnect2Reconnect revolution in 2019, will be a refreshing break for everyone, young and old alike.

Talking about why #GadgetFreeHour, which aims to impact the lives of over 50 million parents, should become a part of our daily lives, Nalina Ramalakshmi, Founder and Managing Director, ParentCircle, says, “All of us parents are so busy either working or taking care of the needs of our family. How often do we pause and take a break to just relax, be silly and playful, and have fun with our children and loved ones? Research clearly shows that it is such playful moments that strengthen our relationship with our children and help create lasting memories for all of us. So, we at ParentCircle launched #GadgetFreeHour to encourage families to spend playful, fun moments together and experience the joy of connection. We hope every family will join this campaign and spend one hour on November 20th with their children and loved ones without the distraction of gadgets. We hope this experience will enthuse them to make gadget-free family time a regular part of their daily lives.”

About the #GadgetFreeHour PR Venketrama Raja, Chairman, Ramco Group has this to say, “In this age of heavy information load and instant communication, we tend to
be reactive. We need to quiet our minds and pause to think. The Gadget Free Hour is a reminder to us all to pause and spend time with our children.”

NRK Ramkumar Raja, Managing Director, Rama Raju Surgical Cotton Mills Ltd. has also pledged to be a part of #GadgetFreeHour. He says, “The vast majority of us are enamored with the digital age. However, we all live and interact in the physical world where we need to survive by manipulating our analog senses. Gadget Free Hour gives us a reason, even if it is brief, to connect back to the basics and experience the joys of non-digital interaction with family. I hope the Gadget Free Hour becomes a daily habit where we truly connect with one another.”

Adds AV Dharmakrishnan, CEO, Ramco Cements, “Gadgets that are meant for uniting or connecting people are actually resulting in dividing people and also causing a lot of
psychological problems among people of all ages. To bridge this gap, ParentCircle, as a social cause, has started the initiative of #GadgetFreeHour so that people can spend quality time with family and friends. Everybody should support this initiative by connecting with each other and disconnecting all the gadgets for at least some time every day. I congratulate every member of the ParentCircle team for having taken this noble initiative to such heights.”

To make this a fun hour for everyone, we have launched the #GadgetFreeHour online

HahaHehe Challenge for families, which is seeing massive participation with over seven lakh reach. We also have the 14-Day ‘Back to Childhood’ challenge – a unique challenge that encourages parents to spend 5 gadget-free minutes every day with their children. Parents can support this campaign by taking the pledge at www.gadgetfreehour.com, and spread the joy of connection.

GadgetFreeHour Quotes

The #GadgetFreeHour initiative has garnered a lot of celebrity support, with actors, musicians, doctors, authors, corporate leaders, experts in the field of child education all coming forward to talk about how gadget-free time can enhance the parent-child bond.
Here’s what they are saying:

The ongoing pandemic has had us turn to technology like never before and boundaries between the use of gadgets for recreation, education, distraction, and communication have blurred significantly. Honoring a Gadget Free Hour by every person and every family, on a regular basis, becomes crucial for us to engage with life more completely and not through the filters of technology.
̶ Dr. Nithya Poornima, Clinical Psychologist, Former Associate Professor of Clinical Psychology, NIMHANS, Bangalore

It’s going to go beyond that one hour, it’s going to make people realize and pay attention to the fact that we have moved away from the connection in our world and we’ve moved towards being consumed by gadgets. Gadget Free Hour is going to make people rethink
how much connection they are making time for, with their families and loved ones and how much they are allowing themselves to get lost in the use of their devices.
̶ Keira Merkovsky, Clinical social work/therapist, California,

I try to limit my children’s exposure to screens as much as possible. In the evenings, I take them for a drive, get some air and see what the world is looking like rather than being in those four walls stuck to gadgets.
̶ Dabboo Ratnani, Fashion and Bollywood photographer, Mumbai

Gadgets like mobile phones are a distraction and it’s difficult to keep it aside, that’s why it’s addictive. But somehow, we should find a way to switch it off sometimes. But one thing, you can’t expect your child to have discipline while you don’t have one, double standards don’t work.
̶ T M Krishna, Indian Carnatic vocalist, writer, activist, Chennai

About ParentCircle
We are India’s #1 parenting platform www.parentcircle.com. ParentCircle started in 2011 as a parenting magazine. Today ParentCircle has emerged as a strong print and digital force in India. Over the last decade, at ParentCircle, we have been pursuing a single-minded mission
– to build confidence in parents to raise happy, healthy, confident and compassionate children. To be a confident parent, we believe a strong parent-child connection is a key, which in turn makes children feel loved, understood, safe and secure.

Apart from our magazines that have a pan-India readership, our digital platform clocks a viewership rate of 12 million per year. With global parenting experts and bestselling authors on board, ParentCircle is fast emerging as the one-stop solution for parent engagement programs for families, corporate houses and educational institutions, among others.

Coverage of #GadgetFreeHour
We request you to spread the good word about the #GadgetFreeHour initiative so that more families can join in the movement and take the pledge. Taking even a short break from our hectic online lives can make a big difference to children. Together, we can create immense awareness about the importance of disconnecting to connect. For queries, interaction opportunities and exclusive interviews with our Managing Director and the expert team
of ParentCircle, please get in touch with us at 9791039335 or email us at [email protected]

Sponsors  
Powered by: Ramco Cements Ltd and Rama Raju Surgical Cotton Mills Ltd.
Activity partners: Yamaha Music India and Totto Learning
Radio partners: Hello FM and Red FM
Associations supporting the campaign: ECA (Early Childhood Association), International Council for School Leadership (ICSL), FICCI FLO, The Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) Puducherry Chapter, CII Indian Women Network (IWN), CII Young Indians (YI), Empower Women In IT, NASSCOM Kerala

GadgetFreeHour 14-Day Challenge and Other Activities

In our busy lives, we often forget to pause and spend time with our families. We get so engrossed in work and commitments that we forget to have meaningful conversations with our children and make memories together. We don’t have time to giggle, be silly and play games together.

The 14-day challenge is here to change all that! It is a challenge that will help us discover little moments of joy and connection with our families. Don’t worry; it doesn’t ask much from us. All we need to commit is five minutes of our time! Curious? Read on!

What is the 14-day challenge?
This is a fun challenge where families have to spend at least five minutes together every day for 14 days. The challenge consists of 14 exciting five-minute activities—one for each day—that will help us spend time with our families and connect with each other.

The goal behind the challenge is to bring back the child in each one of us! Serious, responsible, capable—that’s how we come across to our kids a lot of the time. How about letting our kids see our lighter side—our playful, spontaneous, fun-loving, mischievous self?

These activities are a great way for us to bond with our families and build stronger and better family relationships. In times of happiness, in times of loneliness, in times of emotional outbursts—we know family is where we belong!

How to do the activities
Once you sign up for the 14-day challenge, you will receive a five-minute activity every day for the next 14 days. Do these fun-filled activities together as a family and experience the joy of connection.

Other #GadgetFreeHour activities
My Daily Tracker – Gadgets are a part and parcel of our children’s lives today. However, excessive screen time can be harmful to your child. Help them keep a track of their screen time with this media usage planner.
Letter Writing – Inland letters and telegrams have given way to video chats and instant messages now. So you are probably thinking that when you can connect with your friends and relatives virtually, why write letters! Well, what if we told you that letter writing can help children in more ways than one?

Click on the links below for more info
ParentCircle #GadgetFreehe

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