Monday, August 21, 2017

Kids & Screen Time


I've talked about technology and kids a few times here and there, but nothing too in depth. I have very strong opinions about it, but so does everyone else, and I feel like it's one of those touchy subjects that parents fall on one side or the other about. In our home the boys do minimal screen time on devices. Years ago we used to do apps on our phone with Henry (Peekaboo Barn, ABC games), but as time went on we completely stopped that. For us we have learned that very little screen time works best and it's what we've been doing for many years. When we have tried to do let's say, 15 minutes of earned iPad time in the afternoon, the boys' attitudes take a turn for the worse. So we just don't do it. And because we don't, they don't ask for it...so it's a complete non-issue. I know most kids probably have no problem playing on the iPad regularly, but it doesn't work for us. Television would be the only real screen time they get, and we use it as a reward- they can earn say, one episode of Paw Patrol for doing a great job a few days in a row. Nick Jr. is a BIG motivator in our home.

Obviously Hank and I are super plugged in for work and play (hello, I love television!), but that's a huge reason we limit it for them- we see how important it is for us to be AWAY from all of it. And it's good inspiration for us to try and be as device-free as we can around them too, so it's not a "do as I say, not as I do" kind of thing. It's definitely something I'm always working on.

However I'm getting to the point now where I realize that there needs to be more of a balance. I've been using a learning site/app with them thanks to a post series (more on that next month) and it's been nice to have an hour or two a week where I feel like the boys are "practicing" using the computer and technology. I obviously really love tech stuff and being online, but I also love completely unplugging and enjoying everything non-tech. I feel like I've definitely struck a good balance with it, and I know that is something I hope my kids have too. Technology and screens are inevitable- computers are amazing and such wonderful learning tools, and as they get older it will all only become more prevalent in their education. AND not to mention I don't want to make something seem "bad" or off limits that one day they'll swing to the other side and end up living in a dark basement playing video games for days on end, never going outside. Ah! That's not to say either boy wouldn't happily sit on an iPad and play games if you offered it to them, but so far we are doing really well in giving them opportunities to make choices for themselves and talking a lot about how screen time makes them feel, and why we choose to spend our time in other ways. Because it's not a part of our lives it rarely comes up, but I know as they get older it will most likely start to. I mean, Henry is turning 7 and many of his 9-year old friends already have phones, which is a whole different thing to deal with once we're there.

So I wanted to ask all of you- how do you work screen time/technology in with your kids? I would sincerely love to hear all about your experiences about how you strike a balance, which is something I'm still working on. How does it work for your family? Are you low to no-tech with your kids? Or the opposite? What is best for you and yours? I can't wait to hear! And as always, NO JUDGEMENT! We all are just doing what is best for our own families. Neither way is better or worse. Lots of love.

xoxo

3 comments:

  1. We struggle sometimes finding a good balance. My son loves screen time, but I can tell that it affects his mood a lot. My daughter isn't affected in the same way. My husband and I also have different ideas of what is "too much" but I think even he is beginning to see what a difference it makes when we go without for a few days or a week.

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  2. This is something I have been thinking about too. My son is only three and already I'm wondering if I should get him a tablet! More to play educational games on in the car. Other kids in the family have them and he loves playing on theirs and he loves 'watching videos.' My gut is saying to hold off and that he's too young. I can see a lot of tantrums with trying to regulate the time on it. I agree though it's part of your lives now and need to incorporate it at some point when it's right.

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  3. I always think of the article I read a few years ago about Steve Jobs and how his kids had no Apple products (the article was written before he passed away, so I don't know if it still holds and I can't remember where I found it) because he didn't want them to be sucked in like he was. I don't have kids, but if I ever do, they'll get very little screen time. I try really hard to limit my own - I don't even like reading on my iPad.

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