Stoping making me feel like my child is a digital zombie!
Well jeez, you would swear that my children have giant square eyes as they stare at a flat screen incessantly in some catatonic state all day.
That's the impression I get sometimes from the big-wigs in charge of health, schools and yes, even other mums.
The reality is that everyone has a right to chill out and as long as the screen/phone/computer is being monitored and limited with a common sense approach there is no need to shame us for allowing our child some down time.
Recently child psychologist David Carey was speaking at a HerFamily tween workshop and he pointed out that it is better to give your child a go on the Ipad in the evenings than to overschedule them with activities so they are emotionally and physically tired.
My children share a flat screen device - I figure at least they will interact together and learn to share (sometimes) They have a time limit and I don't feel guilty if I give it to them in a restaurant (after they have eaten and before they get restless) or when I feel they need some quieter time in a very hectic day.
Often we use it for learning games, skyping relatives that are abroad and games that involve a certain level of strategy and thinking ahead.
Because I don't make it a massive issue in our house- I find that often they don't really look for it or view it as an extra 'treat'. At the moment they are into loom bands and lego.
I understand the dangers of unsupervised online antics and the obsession children can get with certain games but for now, I am trying to practice a healthy amount of screen time and that is my prerogative. I think as the children get older, parents should agree on which games are forbidden or agree set times for gaming on playdates etc. Let's be adults about this and stop the hysterical screen time shaming that I see (and hear) time and time again.
Their curious little minds often need some downtime in a busy and active day. Just like you or I.
We would love to hear what you think. Do you feel guilty about handing over the Ipad?