I read this article yesterday. I think this is an important message for all parents.
Now my children use technology.
My two year old knows his way around my tablet and has for awhile.
But I do believe the use of technology is changing the way brains work and is decreasing creativity in our society.
So while I am not all for banning the use of tablets and other technology by children, I would love it if we could think a little more about when, where, and how much we use technological devices!
My two year old does use my tablet most days, but for less than 30 minutes.
The apps that he uses are educational. They read stories to him. They teach him numbers. They sing nursery rhymes.
And again the screen time is limited! The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends no more than one or two hours of high quality screen time a day.
What do we do the rest of the time.
Read! If you have been around here long I bet you knew that was coming.
Play with toys that allow him to create and imagine. He loves trains and cars right now. One of his favorite activities is to drive his “car” to the store and go shopping. This involves him driving over to where our potatoes are in the kitchen, opening his seat, putting two or three potatoes in, and driving them to the counter where he leaves them. At the end I either use them for whatever I was making for dinner or we put them back.
Go outside and play even when it is cold.
Have a play date with friends.
When you go places talk with each other about where you are and what you see. While sitting in a waiting room look around and find new things that your child hasn’t experienced and talk about them. Interact with others. Build his or her vocabulary naturally that way. Demonstrate that we can and should connect with others without a screen in front of us.
And there may be days when your child has more screen time than usual. We had one of those days a few weeks ago when my two year old was sick and miserable. He watched his first entire movie that day. It is now his favorite and he asks to watch it everyday. Some days he gets to watch 20 minutes of it.
However, if we make it the rule to limit screen time and increase physical activity, imaginative play, and interaction with other people, I believe our children will be more ready for school both socially and mentally. As a result they will be more ready to learn and interact with classmates leading to success both socially and academically.
So let’s turn off our screen right now and go play with our children, or read a book, or go for a walk!
What is your screen policy in your house?