You’re new to the parenting gig and deciding between car seats involved spread sheets and reading lots of consumer reviews. Now we have to add technology on top of everything else? It’s one more thing on our parenting plate…and there isn’t much of a trail blazed. It’s all relatively new. My parents didn’t have to worry about me binge-watching Sesame Street. It only came on once a day! And VCR’s weren’t invented yet! (I may be a little older than some of you.)
Our blog is all about finding that space between…the middle ground in sometimes extremely divided issues. When it comes to the topic of technology and kids, I don’t see two camps as much as I see parents desperately looking for answers on how to deal with the deluge of screens. How is everyone else handling screen time? Am I giving in too much? Am I using it as a cheap babysitter? How can I get them away from the screen without a tantrum?
No one wants to overexpose their kids to screens or have them stumble upon inappropriate content. No one wants to get it wrong…but there’s no guide book on how to get it right. I have a few thoughts and some resources, but this is for you and your family to decide. What’s best for you, is probably not going to work for your neighbor. It’s your choice on how tech is handled in your home. The good news: early on is a great time to set up the ground rules.
I’m going to suggest you focus on the two I’s:
It takes time and energy that you might not think you have, especially with the demands of raising little people, but being informed will make decision-making so much easier.
We hear a lot about the appropriate amount of screen time for kids. There are charts and recommendations. (And that other mom in the car line is happy to give you her opinion, too.) I would argue that, while the amount of time is seriously important, the content of the screen is even more important. Before you plunk your little one down in front of the TV or iPad, you need to know the content of the program, movie, or game.