Me & My Kids vs. Tech & TV
I just read an article, here is a link http://deeprootsathome.com/raising-children-technology/, that got me thinking about something that I have struggled with as a mom from the day that my baby came into this world. The article talks about the use of technology and what it is doing to our children. There are so many good points in the article and I could blog about a lot of different points but what I personally got hooked on was how much tech is too much tech? How do I balance the reality of having it in our lives and trying to keep it at arm's length?
I am constantly struggling with a difference in opinion with my husband on this topic. He has no problems with just plugging our daughter in and not even monitoring what he is showing. He has no problem letting her see shows that are too violent and mature for any two year old. Then there is myself who constantly worries if I have let her see too much. Did she see something too upsetting? Has she spent too much time in front of it? Is the TV the reason she sometimes has trouble sleeping at night?
My daughter came out of the womb knowing how to use a touchscreen. I was, and continue to be amazed about much she just knows. Her little finger swiping from photo to photo of herself and her grandparents, knowing which icon would get her PBS kids and understand the concept of “it has to charge.” I watch her two half-brothers, teenagers, who do very little but watch their phones, TV or gaming stations. They have very little interests outside of devices, they don’t read, they don’t draw, they don’t build, they don’t hike, or ride bikes, or play basketball. The thirteen-year-old, who has trouble with depression and ADHD, literally goes through withdrawal when he doesn’t have a way to be plugged in. I have seen him get angry, lash out, cry, get depressed. IT IS SO SCARY. Whit that in mind I have seen this monster pop its head out of my daughter's chest. Especially with youtube videos. We let her see some videos on a long car ride one time and after the trip, it was time to put it away she transformed into this really scary addicted little person ( I also know she is two)...I stopped that really fast. We admittedly have a huge TV in our living room and what is the first thing that she asks to do when she comes in the door? “I wanna watch TV.” At two years old I can see what changes it makes to her and it is alarming how fast it sneaks up on you.
So I guess all this rambling has to lead me to ask the question how do you put limits on things when you and your partner have very different views of screen time in the house? He encourages her to sit down with him and watch TV and I am opposite encouraging it to be turned off and to do something else. He honestly doesn’t see that there is any harm in it. I am not militant, I don’t mind watching cartoons to wake up in the morning when it is 5:30 am and everyone is moving slow, but a whole Sunday in front of the TV, a device in the car, a device at the restaurant, or when visiting family. I saw a mother put a phone in front of a 6-month-old!!! I try my best not to judge other parents because I know how hard it is. I know I give in and let her eat the candy, watch one more episode, get out of taking the bath. What parent doesn’t? But a screen in front of a 6-month-old?! But what I really worry about is her growing up not knowing how to have a conversation, not knowing how to interact with other people in meaningful ways, or to lack in human contact and interpersonal communication. I also worry about what it is doing to her physiologically. Will my daughter continue to watch TV....unfortunately or fortunately, yes? I don’t see the TV leaving our home anytime soon. Will I continue to worry if it is too much? Yes!
What do you think? How does your family deal with two parents who don't agree on tech and tv?