Children? Technology? Children and technology, together? Everyone has their own take on how they want to raise their children with iPads, iPhones, computers, smartwatches, and everything else that now surrounds us. Some say avoid it at all costs, others say the more the merrier! So, are the techie gadgets helpful or harmful?
Short answer: they’re both. Too much screentime can cause problems. When kids watch too many shows and play on too many apps too often, we teach them that it’s the only thing that provides entertainment. We’re teaching them that playing with siblings and toys and being imaginative and creative is boring, isn’t fun, and is less important. Yikes. As mamas and dads, we want to teach our kids all of the important things: how to play, how to have fun, but also to be kind and to love the people that surround them. That might be hard when they’re bombarded with a million different messages we find coming from the internet. On the other hand, there are so many great things geared towards helping kids to learn, grow, and develop.
So what can we do?
Find our balance. It’s so important to find balance in our lives. It’s something that’s even tricky for adults (let’s be real here, do any of us feel like we’ve found that perfect balance? I know I’m still working on it!). Not knowing what’s too much is hard to do, but when a kid is always bored without a show playing, that’s a good time to recognize what’s going on and reevaluating the plan we’ve made. That’s the cool thing about parenting: it’s never too late to change things up! We’re all learning and we all make mistakes. It’s great that we can take a step back and become better through the things we’re maybe not doing the best at the moment. We got this!
Finding good media for the kiddies. There is so much good online. From shows that teach kids about plants and animals and friends and playing to really awesome learning programs to this website (wink wink), there are a million awesome things our kids can watch and learn from. In our world today, it’s actually more important than ever for them to learn about the things going on outside their homes and families. And it’s more important than ever for our kids to learn how to use this technology because it’s a part of our world--they’ll have to go to school and someday have jobs in which they’ll need these skills! It’s all about learning and growing!
We are all different, with different ideas on how we want to parent. And that is great! It’s important that our communities and our world are made up of children that are raised in all sorts of ways--it creates diversity! Different is good! We all have to find what works for us and our families, and it might not be the same thing that works for someone else, and that is ok!
What are your thoughts about using technology for your kids in your homes?