Kids and Technology

I’ve recently just listened to a great podcast called GENZA: Technology Wars. A friend of mine, Katia, hosts it and during each episode she gathers women (moms) together to discuss modern day parenting issues. I’ve learnt a lot from listening to her show as each guest has their own unique perspective and shares what works for them.

In this current episode, the topic was kids and screens. How much is too much, is it affecting them being raised in an online world, what is our role in guiding them through this new era, etc. We struggle with this issue and we are clearly not alone. It came at an interesting time for us as we are currently experimenting with something new in our house. We’ve removed most of our screen time limits and restrictions with the hope that once they’ve overdosed on all things screens they will learn to self-regulate.

We have always limited their exposure. We removed paid television from our home when they were little and opted to only watch programs of our choosing – and tv was certainly not a daily event. Over time, we only watched a movie one time per week as a special family occasion – like “Friday night movie night.” This continued until the kids were between 6-10 years old. Computer time was always regulated – thirty minutes when they were that age and later only 2 hours per day. Google and YouTube were restricted and never any social media.

We are very physically active, we play board games and my kids are voracious readers. I have always felt like our life was balanced between healthy physical activity, family time and screen time. We can’t control their screen usage forever and they need to be responsible for their time as they mature. It will be an interesting experiment. We plan to check in on their usage in 30 days to see what if any change this new allowance will bring.

5 thoughts on “Kids and Technology

  1. My Mom said that when I was a kid, it was regulating tv that was the big thing. I told a friend of mine with young kids that and she said, “What wouldn’t I give for that to be a problem instead of computers and smartphones!”

    • It’s so true! It’s funny though – we all watched a lot of Tv as kids and have turned out just fine. Is it that different?

      • Yeah. We did. I mean, tech nowadays is different because it was made to be addictive. Not to mention, there’s cyberbullying and trolling and all of those are even more detrimental to child development

      • Yes, I agree to those points, absolutely. It’s important to have an open conversation with kids and on a regular basis. We still have rules regarding email contacts, signing up for anything has to be talked about and approved, etc. I guess what we are working on now is balancing time spent on screens. There’s ongoing dialogue about the dangers of the internet. I worry about the amount of hours they get sucked into it, which is why it reminds me of mindless hours spent watching tv.

      • Those things sound excellent! I was in my late teens when smartphones came out and the internet and social media really took off, and I can honestly say I’m glad I wasn’t younger when it happened. There is just so much involved in the internet and it takes time and maturity to work through it

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