A widely recognizable and debated topic amongst mommies, screen time! I am well aware of all the conflicting views and bad opinions about letting your children have screen time.
But..lets face it, times a changing’! In 15+ years when my children are applying for jobs, they will rely upon the use and knowledge of how to create and navigate technology. I once spent 2 hours on the phone talking a guy through how to find the internet and what eBay was…I wanted to strangle myself 15 minutes into the conversation! I am not allowing my children to grow up naive to the technological world.
My husband and I purchased an iPad mini, purely for business use. And lets face, to play all those popular words with friends, clash of clans and Facebook games on a bigger screen. Oh yeah! However, over time said iPad’s screen started to become cluttered with Doc McStuffins games, Nemo helps you count games, and Disney reading apps. The last and final blow that turned the mommy and daddy iPad into a Mason and Brooks iPad was Netflix. We happily surrendered it, and heres my reasoning behind why I am so very thankful my children have iPads.
- Interests. I want my kids to be able to explore every possible opportunity they have. There are people out there who are interested in becoming professional gamers, coders, web developers, you catch my drift. Kids should be able to have every possible opportunity to explore what they do and don’t like to form their own opinions.
- Cars rides, whether its a drive to the store or a 2+ hour drive to grandma’s house. iPads make the drive so much more enjoyable instead of the dreaded “are we there yet” asked a million times. Or the constant “I’m bored” said in the most winning voice that can be mustered. I don’t know about you, but I can’t stand another round of the A-Z road game…
- The coveted thing known as quiet time! As a stay at home mom of three, I crave quiet time! I need that time to collect my thoughts so I don’t have to personally check myself into the loony bin every day when my husband comes home from work. A 30 minute episode of paw patrol usually does the trick.
- Have you ever attempted to take a shower with kids? It never use to be an issue for me. Then I had kids. I finally understood what everyone was talking about. My daughter can down a whole pan of brownies in a matter of 4 minutes. Or cover her room in baby powder in a matter of 10. Thank goodness for her iPad is all i can say. I’d imagine I would get pretty stinky and have hair sticking up all over my head if I wasn’t able to distract her with My Little Pony.
- Mommy and daddy time. Sometimes i just want to have a conversation with my husband that doesn’t involve what Barbie did today. We are also that hated couple you see at restaurants whose kids have iPads. Guess what? Without those iPads, our kids would be just like all the rest. Climbing over the booths, screaming that they can’t have that ice cream the next table over was served. Yes we teach our kids manners, but come on they aren’t robots, sometimes kids like to act out. Restaurants is where our kids seem to do the most damage.
- Have you ever tried to clean the house with three kids attached to you? its impossible! Mason: “mom, mom, mommy, mommy, MOMMY, MOMMY, MOM!”
Mason: “I lost my red lego piece in the carpet, can you find it for me”
This happens every 5 minutes….
- Reality is… technology is everywhere! My son who is in kindergarten goes to a computer class twice a week at his school. Now that is a bit above my head since I learned on the old fashioned box computers. He gets to learn on a Mac… so mom isn’t really much help there. Its becoming a requirement. Coding classes are offered in high school. It’s the 21st century!
- Joan Ganz Cooney Center at Sesame Workshop preformed a study and found:
“60% of teachers observed that games foster more collaboration amongst students and enable students to focus on specific tasks.” also in the study: “>10% reported negative experiences using games, such as delayed content delivery (8%), behavioral issues with lower-preforming students (7.7%), and/or increased conflict between students (5.1%). More information about the study can be found at http://www.joanganzcooneycenter.org/press/educators-find-digital-games-promising-tools-in-the-classroom-according-to-national-survey/
- The tech industry is one of the fastest growing industries. It is projected to grow by 16.2% over a nine-year period. Why not just embrace the inevitable? Get with the times.
Don’t get my wrong, theres negatives to screen time as well. Theres negatives and positives to everything! I limit my children’s screen time per day, but the benefits out way the negatives in my eyes. My kids are smart, they still like books, toys, legos (ugh, my poor feet). They are even still sociable! imagine that. We love the outdoors and our family walks. But thank goodness for those iPads…I wouldn’t be a pretty sight to look at without them. Its not going to ruin my children to get a bit of screen time, so “haters gunna hate hate hate hate, shake it off”. Im okay with it!