Paving the way

Shaping life skills for toddlers during the pandemic is not easy for parents. This e-learning platform steps in with skilled coaches
Dr Popy Dutta & Aayansh Choudhury
Dr Popy Dutta & Aayansh Choudhury

BENGALURU: For Dr Popy Dutta, life during the pandemic has been a roller-coaster ride for working parents, especially those whose children are in their growing years and have had no opportunity to interact physically with the outside world. Dutta, assistant professor, Department of Microbiology, St Joseph’s College, says the primary challenge is to keep her six-year-old son  engaged in something creative so that their energy gets channelised in the most appropriate way.

“Even though I could overwhelm myself with the knowledge, I would like to share with my young one. There are times when I get baffled about how to communicate it with him, especially when it comes to enlightening him about values and virtues one need to possess. I was not sure whom to turn to for help, as every other parent around me was equally confused,” she says.

Like several parents, her prayers were answered when she stumbled upon Ri8brain, an e-learning platform conceived by global entertainment major Toonz Media Group.Launched recently, the team introduced interactive courses – storytelling, arts and crafts, music and life skills, among others – for the age group of 6-16 years to help shape up their decision-making skills and executive functions, something which they are unable to explore currently.

“We have limited the sessions to a smaller batch of 15 kids to ensure an optimal mentor-student ratio. Our mentors are trained life skill coaches who also have a good grasp of child psychology,” says Jayakumar P, CEO, Toonz Media Group. According to him, life skills provide children with important tools for development, such as independent thinking, how to socialise and make new friends, and how to act in situations where their parents or teachers may not be around to help or intervene (dealing with a bully or personal insecurities and fears, for example).

Shedding light on the subject, Dr Neeraj Raj B, consultant psychiatrist, Aster RV Hospital, points out that there is an absence of a structured setting and a disruption in routine. “A lot of children have no access to any stimuli apart from their digital devices, which has an impact on their social and cognitive skills,” he says, adding that engaging them in creative activities, keeping them physically active and allowing them to let loose outside in a safe manner will help keep their mind active.

Adds Dutta, “The interactive sessions, which stress high involvement from the students, have actually influenced and motivated my son to be better at whatever he does. From arranging the toys back in place after playing with them to the compassion he has developed for his friends, the numerous small changes seen in his behaviour today will surely make a loud and positive impact in the future.”Currently, parents 
can opt for free trials for kids who want to experience Ri8brain before purchasing the courses,” he says.

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The New Indian Express