This is such a volatile topic, I am almost afraid to approach it. Your children are surrounded by tech every day. How much of it is “good”, how much is “bad”, should any type of screen time be limited, if so when, where, and on and on……
First of all, tech is a part of their lives. Whether, as a parent, you like it or not, it’s there. Think about it. Most 4,5,and 6 year olds don’t even know what a landline is. They’re growing up in a era when everyone uses cell phones. (Quick note….in school I sometimes pretend to “call” a parent when a child is upset so that so that his/her parent, caretaker can “tell” me he/she should remain in school and that everything will be all right. Now I have to use my cell phone and half the time the child wants to video chat with his/her mom/dad! Gotta think fast when that happens!) IPads and laptops are just a part of life for them. Computers are used in schools as a learning tool as are frequently some form of hand held electronic device. And they’re great. Lessons and reinforcement activities can be streamed and modified for each particular student. The same can be said at home. Especially as your child gets older, he/she will be using online resources to enhance (not replace, that’s important) classroom instruction.
All that’s well and good. No problem. The worry comes when your child wants to spend all or a good part of his/her free time online instead of in face to face interaction with family and friends. Also, technology can become a very convenient babysitter where screen time can suddenly extend to 2 or 3 hours. What, as a parent, should you do? Your child is growing up in a technological era. You don’t want him/her left behind. It’s part of his/her world. But you also want your little one to go out and play!
I think it’s sort of like when TV’s were first introduced. Way back then, there was the fear that children would sit in front of them all day. The same was true for Atari, Nintendo, and all the video games right up to Fortnite. None of this is inherently “bad” for a child. I feel they actually help with reflex time, increase imagination, and, in the case of Fortnite, encourage interaction with other players. But, like anything else, screen time needs to be limited. And that’s the problem. How do you do that? By starting now….while your child is young. If you limit times to go on the iPad and encourage the use of certain games, you will set a pattern that your child will respect and be used to as he/she gets older. It will just be a part of life. It will be an accepted routine. And even if your child objects, he/she wants routines and limits. They are a form of reassurance. They help make a child’s world safe and orderly. They also show you care or you wouldn’t bother to enforce them. Will there be times when your son/daughter will be on the iPad longer? Of course. It happens. Give and take is important. But, in general, set up a routine and stick to it.
I would really like your thoughts on this topic. Please comment below or message me about it. Thanks! 🙂
Take Care. 🙂