So exactly how much is too much screen time??? I try and stay under the 40 minutes threshold a day but for some reason my children are obsessed with television or any screen for that matter. If we walk into a household that has a television on as background noise, my kids are almost guaranteed to be glued to it, while the kids that live there probably won’t even notice it’s on.
These days, as parents, we are bombarded with the choices to go screen, or not. I recently had to turn down a preschool because they actually had no blackboard in a K classroom – the “smart” board had taken its place. I’m not sure what was worse, that there was no blackboard or that the school was actually using this digital screen as a major selling point. I just could not stand the thought that I would not know how much screen time Miss-M would have on a given day. Honestly, the days I am most proud of my mothering are those that have no screen time. Although I believe everything in moderation is healthy, that annoying-anal little voice inside my head reminds me that there is nothing going on in their brain while the television is on. But at the same time if your children are exhausted from school and activities maybe a little downtime is needed.
A few days ago I went to check out a family health club that had amazing amenities where I could work out and the children could play, take classes and swim in the summer. The club was decidedly a no-go because of their television and computer approach: basically, computers and TVs were everywhere!!! Again, that was their top selling point. We have 10 macs and 10 PCs here for the kids to play with. Yayyyy – Not! As I write this, my 4-year-old is hanging off me trying to catch a glimpse of my WordPress page (she’s meant to be asleep). Recently I have started to realize how much their world is changing; I don’t want to hold my children back from gaining knowledge about current technology but I also feel like it’s overwhelming. Where are we going with this? How about good old-fashioned make-believe play? I feel like I need to talk to a child tech-guru to find out if keeping my kids in a non-tech bubble is the best idea…
James Room, 4th Floor Barnard Hall
West 117th Street & Broadway
When it comes to digital media and young children, content and context matter. As part of the Barnard Center for Toddler Development’s 40th anniversary celebration, Rosemarie Truglio discusses digital media’s impact on children. How might parents go about finding age-appropriate content? Can they use digital media to foster shared educational experiences with their children? Truglio helps parents navigate this tricky terrain.