A link to this article was posted on my Facebook wall, and it’s too thoughtful an article about technology and our kids not to pass along. As the author Scott Steinberg makes very clear more than once, technology isn’t going to go away so we parents better figure out how to teach our kids to use it properly and safely.
I thought one of the best ideas to come out in this article is maintaining a balance between real and virtual activities. Technology, or ‘screen time’ isn’t an inalienable right, it’s a privilege. Access to technology is something our kids need to be given to exist and compete in the modern world, but at least the young ones don’t necessarily understand that fact; we parents can ration that access. If one to two hours is the maximum screen time kids should have, it should be balanced with an equal amount of time outside, playing games, doing chores, some form of ‘real world’ activity.
Another great point is that using technology as the ‘occasional’ babysitter isn’t something we parents should be drowning in guilt about– the key here being occasional. There’s loads of educational material online for kids and that’s good for kids, and if it buys you 15 minutes to keep your sanity, go for it!
I strongly encourage all parents to take the time to read this thoughtful and thought provoking article as a first step in establishing a realistic and healthy technology game plan for your house and your kids. If, in fact, 92% of US toddlers really do have an online presence by the age of two (as per one survey), we parents better figure out how to insure it’s all a positive impact on our kids and not a negative one. Clearly, today’s post is not birthday party related, but it is an important concept for parents that I wanted to pass along.