There are many different opinions and various research on the topic. For my kids, I’ve always utilized educational television and games. When my daughter was a baby/toddler, she played educational games on the computer and watched shows such as Dora the Explorer, The Backyardigans and the Baby Einstein series of DVD’s. She learned small amounts of Spanish watching Dora and she could count, say her ABCs, type and write by the time she was two. I can’t say this was all because I allowed her to use electronics at a young age, however, I can confidently say screen time didn’t harm her educationally.
Fast forward to the new age of technology where it seems like everywhere you look kids have cell phones in elementary school, babies are rocking iPads and we parents have phones that do… Well what they do? I am not immune, I do everything on my phone (like posting the) even though i have a comouter sitting in my living room, my oldest has an iPhone and my two younger kids have tablets. Yes, my toddler has his own tablet. Not a $600 iPad, but nevertheless a tablet that is his alone. He plays educational games and he’s always so happy when he gets the right answer. He also plays spme games that aren’t as educational, like hos favorite, the car wash game. Last night he was playing it in the car and since I was driving I couldn’t help him start a new round after each clean car. The process consisted of pressing a series of three different buttons on the touch screen. I walked him through it twice, telling him which buttons to press. On the third time, he says, “ok mama, I can do it.” And, he did and he was as proud of himself as I was. That led me to thinking about him t.v. and how interactive he makes it, he answers Dora when she asks questions, he sings the theme song to Jake and the Nederland Pirates (and count his gold dubloons) and he uses him imagination (and feet) like Curious George.
For my family, the use of screen time has proved to be a positive. From educational t.v. and games to simply fun games and trips to the theater, I truly believe my children have benefited from having access to electronics from a young age, even if I have often had people look at my children playing in their tablets with disgust or questioned my choice to bring my toddler to the theater.
How does your family approach screen time and have you ever been judged because of it?