Parents share their experiences of tech and wellbeing during lockdown

To shed light on how parents are coping with the ‘new normal’ following measures to tackle coronavirus, we’ve reached out to a set of families to share their digital diaries.

Here is the first, second, and third instalment of our Parent voices series. Yasmin Johal and Yasmine Camilla share their family’s experience of managing the ‘new normal’ that families all over the world are experiencing due social distancing measures.

They will be sharing their digital diaries reflecting on how tech and the online world is helping them to cope with a range of challenges they face day to day.

Yasmine Johal lockdown diary 

In her final digital diary, Yasmin gives tips on how to combine screen time and play with young children
Display video transcript
hi everyone hope you're all well welcome

to my third and I think final

installment in this sort of lockdown

series focusing on technology and how

we're using it so since last week I

can't believe it's been a week

honestly time in lockdown is just the

most surreal thing it's going so fast

and so slow all at the same time and if

you remember last week I was talking

about how we were looking at reducing

screen time with Ramy by that I really

meant reducing the amount of TV he was

watching because it was mostly the TV

that was stressing him out and getting

him really angry when I would try and

turn it off so that was kind of my aim

for the week and we actually found a

really really good compromise that I

would highly recommend

so there's several Instagram accounts

like this but the one that I have been

using is called play hooray and it's run

by this amazing woman called Claire and

she I mean she does all sorts of work

generally it's all centered around play

and being imaginative and creative

within that and what she's been doing

throughout lockdown is doing Instagram

lives I think they're at 10 a.m. every

day there in the morning at some point

and their player loss so she will set up

an activity

she might read a book she's so creative

with how she reads as well like so much

better than I am with all the voices and

stuff and then she'll like make an

activity alongside that so earlier she's

reading a book about food and then she

was making play-doh chips and chips out

of cardboard and things like that it's

all very accessible stuff and it's the

kind of thing that we can actually play

along with and manage to do with like

minimal materials and resources and it's

a really good way of using technology

and using that screen time to do

something more interactive and more

productive and then once the Instagram

live is over we're kind of in that play

frame of mind and we're away from the

screens a little bit but we've still use

them for something useful so that's

something that I've just really really

been loving and I want to share with you


and if I'm completely honest I don't

think I really have any negatives this

week I feel like at this point we've

kind of gotten into the swing of things

we know we know what works and what

doesn't work and yeah fingers crossed I


too soon that actually everything's

going pretty good at the moment so I

hope you've enjoyed these updates and I

hope that you are all having a

reasonably good unlock down as well as

it can be and I will see you all soon


In the next instalment of our parent voices, Yasmin shares struggle with screen time
Display video transcript
oh my goodness okay week two don't even

know where to figure no it's not been

that bad I would say not a whole lot has

changed in terms of how I've been using

technology this week I'm still doing the

same you know weekly pop quizzes with my

family over zoom which I'm really loving

just yeah taking life a bit more slow

and using the Internet to help connect

friends and family Remy on the other

hand he is too and I think before

lockdown we had quite a balanced day

like we'd usually go out to a playgroup

in the morning then we'd come home we

might do a bit of play he'd obviously

have his TV time but it was just sort of

a part of the day a part of like an

extended variety of activities which

have all kind of been taken away from us

now due to half and stay at home so not

gonna lie we have been getting the iPad

out more we have been turning the TV on

a lot more and it's been really helpful

like genuinely I decided to kind of

embrace the positives of it embrace the

fact that he is learning when he plays a

lot of these games on the iPad he is

learning when he watches TV shows even

if it doesn't seem like it he's picking

up a lot of words because he's at that

age where he's really taken everything

in so I've noticed that there's so many

new words he's picking up and it's from

these TV shows so there's definitely a

lot of positives

however because we've been enjoying our

screen time so much it's actually become

very hard to drag him away from the

screens and again I don't know if it's

an age thing but he's getting very

shouty very upset throwing a lot of

tantrums when I try and turn the TV off

even if I'm like presenting him with a

different activity which is just as fun

and exciting I think he started sort of

starting to not see him see the appeal

sorry I can't no more so he's starting

to not see the appeal in other

activities because he's living his green

so much and that's something I'm

definitely trying to work on at the

moment because it is definitely

affecting his mood and his personality

and that's not something I want I don't

want to get too used to relying on the

internet and on screens during lockdown

because that is going to be a point

where we're out

this situation and I don't want it to be

too hard to sort of transition back into

reality see yeah that's definitely

working on at the moment but generally

I'm a big fan of how a lot of kids games

have child locks on them so if he's

trying it's been a few times because he

doesn't really know what he's doing

sometimes and it's gone to a screen

where he's trying to purchase the full

game and it's like three pounds a week

but luckily a lot of them have child

locks on so it'll say things like enter

your date of birth and obviously he

doesn't even know what that means so

then he'll gives the iPad to me and I

realize he's tried to buy something and

I just swiftly stopped that so I'm a big

fan of all the child locks that are on a

lot of these things or that you can turn

on but yeah generally my goal for this

week is to cut down on screen time and

try to offer other activities keep

offering of activities and hope that we

kind of get back to a more normal way of

living as great as screens are we don't

want them all the time and that's

currently what's happening so yeah stay

tuned because next week hopefully we'll

be in a different situation fingers


Stay at home mum Yasmin Johal shares how tech has improved her family’s experience of lockdown
Display video transcript
hey everyone today I just want to talk

about how we've been using technology so

far in lockdown like as a family and I

feel like a lot of brands and businesses

and people have really taken advantage

of technology in a good way like putting

their skills out there there's been like

live cooking demonstrations live music

concerts there's been so much content to

consume or take part in which i think is

really really cool that's been a big

positive because as a stay-at-home mum

I've kind of I'm always at home not

always but I spend a lot of time at home

and before lockdown there wasn't as much

sort of content out there as there is at

the moment which is something I'm really

enjoying and it can be a bit

overwhelming because there is so much I

would say the main thing that we

personally have taken advantage of is

the Joe Wix PE workout I just think

they're great I wish they would never

end I think the time of them is really

great because it's in the morning so you

just get up and get involved Remy is

only 2 so he's not really fully taking

part I'm not gonna lie it's mostly for

me but I think it's a really nice way to

start the day and knowing that you're

doing it every single day and that

there's like loads and loads of families

up and down the country taking part as

well it just feels like quite a nice

sort of community thing to be a part of

so that's been really positive and I

would say that are the main things so

far that we've been doing is a lot of

zoom chats and also FaceTime I suppose

just any kind of video calls basically

with family and friends which has been

really nice like really enjoyable a lot

of my family live further away so even

before lockdown we didn't really see

them often but I feel like now that

people have more time to just be at home

and chat sort of more candidly like

there doesn't have to be a reason to

video call it's like we're all at home

might as well might as well have a video

chat and it's really nice it's it just

kind of feels like spending time with


especially if you do it in a more

relaxed way like you know you're cooking

and you just got your phone set up I

think that's really nice and it's been

really great having like extended family

able to see Remy more often through the

phone so that's been really positive the

only downside I would say is that I know

for grandparents and just some members

of family have found it kind of

upsetting seeing Remy because he's

changed a lot in the last two months

he's gotten taller all those new words

he's saying and new things he's able to

do and I think being able to see those

things physically rather than just

hearing about them I know that that's

you know it can be a little bit

upsetting to some members of the family

but overall it's been a really positive

experience and I've really enjoyed and

yeah I'm really looking forward to

seeing how we use technology over the

next few weeks obviously we don't know

how long all of this is going to last

but there is so much to experience at

the moment I feel online so I'm really

excited to get into more of it

Yasmin johal parent blogger with child

Yasmin Johal is a video content creator documenting her young motherhood journey in a light-hearted and honest way. Expect budget travel, toddler tales, and lots of vegan food!

Yasmine Camilla lockdown diary 

Week 3: Yasmine shares how she is enjoying tech with family while in lockdown
Display video transcript
hi I'm Yasmin I'm a mom of two I think

this is my third video diary now and I

live in London my two children are seven

and four and we have been pretty much at

home for gosh knows how many weeks now a

lot of weeks it's been a bit of a roller


I'm currently furloughed I probably got

a much bigger smile on my face compared

to other video diaries that I've done

we're really starting to get into the

swing of things now the kids and myself

we're probably enjoying our time a bit

more we're doing a real mix of

activities we have got new activities so

ordered some new play-doh more tactile

things particularly for my daughter

who's four

my son has been loving life he's using

lots of different technology to do

different things we've had zoom calls

now with our friends and family and the

children have zoom calls with some of

their classmates which was quite funny

when it was my 4 year old so like 30

reception kids all on one zoom call but

we had a really nice little routine

where one of the adults would ask a

question the kids would go round and

answer so that was quite nice most of

them were just staring and smiling but

it was just nice for them to see each

other's faces

my son's learned lots of new skills with

the computer he has now got really into

the apps that we were given from the

school to do the school work and it's

been brilliant this is something that we

took a while to get into because I was

working from home and I didn't have time

to source it with them and get them used

to it so we started later than most of

the other kids in their school but my

son has loved being able to create

something or write something or finish a

piece of work and then hand it in

they've seen videos from their teachers

reading books which they've absolutely

loved and so yeah all in all we're

having a much better time now still kind

of nervous about what the future holds

obviously at the moment I'm furloughed

and so I'm able

spend time with the children doing these

activities I very much used the TV and

the iPads as a bit of a babysitter

in the past I'm okay with that

so yeah we also have started to sort of

like do more creative things with

technology so we've they're actually

things that we had before but we found

we didn't have the time to use them as

much but the kids have got a few

different activity toys that link up to

their iPads where you either do a

creation or you play with physical real

toys but it's kind of reflected or it

effects something on an app on the

screen so that's been really nice to be

able to have the time to use technology

for those kinds of things yeah I haven't

really been particularly concerned about

their use of technology it feels like

part of the new normal now and we've

definitely taken all of the positives

from it and as a parent I'm not sure how

I would have got through this time

without it so that's us

Week 2: Yasmine shares how being furloughed has affected her use of tech with her family
Display video transcript
hi-yah so this is my second video diary

about being at home with the kids in

lockdown and I'm in a very very

different situations who I was last week

when I recorded a quick video diary I

have now been furloughed so things have

changed quite dramatically I think I was

feeling a little bit guilty before that

the children were having a lot of screen

time compared to in our normal lives and

you know that was mainly because I was

working and I was finding kind of

educational apps and stuff for them to

watch on videos but I definitely did

feel bit uncomfortable with quite how

much time they were spending on screens

this week just feels clean I've only

just been furloughed but it already

feels completely different I'm around

for the kids and what's nice is we've

kind of been using technology together

so I mean just as simple as all three of

us sitting down and watching a film

what's great is that there's loads of

new films available on online and stuff

so yeah we've watched a couple of new

films that we haven't seen before and

that was really nice I feel like I've

definitely had to kind of like start to

wean the kids off I think they had such

a long time of having complete free rein

to use the iPads and the TV and the

computer as they wanted to my

involvement hasn't always been met with

smiles shall we say and then this week

my son Callum who's 7 has started to use

because I'm not working so I'm not using

my laptop now and he started to use my

laptop loads it's great that he's been

able to log on to software that his

school is using and there are lots of

bits of work that have been set by the

teachers there's no pressure the

teachers have rung up to see how we are

and they have always said that there was

no pressure for these bits of work to be

handed in but he has really enjoyed

doing them he's really enjoyed being

able to see the other other children in

his class that kind of composed their

work up

so he's been having a look at what

they've been doing and sharing some of

the things that he's done and that's

really nice he definitely feels a bit

more in touch with his friends that was

probably one of the things he was

missing the most about not being at

school and obviously we have now also

done a couple of zoom calls so the kids

have seen their friends online which is

interesting they were a bit shy at first

they're definitely bit shy about it I

guess it just all feels completely

different but it's definitely been a

positive thing made them feel a little

bit less alone make me feel a bit less

alone talking to my friends in the

evening and having a drink and a chat

with them as well so yeah I feel like we

all feel a bit more settled into this

lockdown situation now and it feels like

there's been a great step forward for us

as a family whereas last week technology

was almost filling a gap and a void in

terms of attention and like an

activities that I could do with the kids

and this week it feels like something

that's really enhancing our lives and

supporting us in keeping in contact and

engaged with people who don't live with

us so yeah that's been really really

great feeling a lot more positive this

week about things and starting to enjoy

my time with the kids

Yasmine Camilla shares her experience of managing work and homeschooling during lockdown
Display video transcript

Hey so I'm Yasmin and I'm working from

home during lockdown I've got two

children Helen who is seven and amber

who's four so Callum should be in school

in year two and amber is in reception so

obviously we've been home for a few

weeks now I work full time as a project

manager and I'm very lucky to be able to

continue my work from home but obviously

that is challenging with the kids oh


first couple of weeks I'd say we're fine

the kids were actually quite excited and

happy to be having more screen time but

it is dice we're a bit thin now and

they're actually getting a bit bored

I downloaded a few extra apps I've spent

quite a lot of money on subscriptions

for different things that they can watch

but I've watched them all I've done them

all we're usually a really active family

and so whilst we embrace technology they

don't use it that much we've got loads

of sort of add ons to iPads and stuff

where they can do creative games and

things again they kind of need me to set

it up and my job where I'm working from

home I'm on the computer and I'm on a

call and I'm really focused on that call

so it is quite hard to do much more than

just let them watch TV or YouTube been

watching YouTube as well and so yeah I

need to I need to put all the like

parent controls and stuff on but I

didn't have them on before because we

are not the kind of family that uses you

know they're not usually on these things

without me so I haven't ever had the

parent controls because I haven't needed

them and I feel like now I need them but

I don't really know where to start

when I do have a bit of time and I try

and engage with them they don't want to

talk to me so used to watching screens

so yeah it's been a bit tricky to engage

with them even when I am able to because

they're so engrossed in the screens and

before she's upstairs

I pad as well she's been a little bit

better she sits on my lap sometimes and

I've been doing conference calls and you

know obviously my work is quite you know

they understand my situation I'm a

single mum and I've got two small

children and I'm working we haven't

really used technology in any positive

ways yet it has just been what I would

consider a babysitter but I am looking

forward to trying to get a bit of head

work starting to calm down a little bit

some hoping to maybe do some like zoom

calls with some of those school friends

because I know that's going on we just

haven't been able to tap into it because

I haven't had the time and there's loads

of like dance classes and there's you

know I've heard of there's lots of

really positive things going on online

so I'd like to get into that as soon as

I have got a moment


Yasmine and daughter and son in front of their house with a rainbow

Yasmine Camilla is a Londoner and a single mum to two. She blogs about her life as a working mum, as well as all the gadgets and beautiful things she loves.

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