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Tuesday, March 27, 2012

"Screen Time"

With all this technology our kids have
 they are bound to be little geniuses.
There is of course TV, DVD's, computers,
hand held games like Nintendo DS and now the iPad.
All of these are great learning tools but
when is enough enough?

This is something we are struggling with in our house.
We find it too easy to put in a DVD and let Colby
watch Elmo while we are getting ready or
when we are tired and just want to veg out ourselves.
Before you know it he has already watched 45 mins
to an hour of TV.

But what Colby is addicted to is the iPad.
He swipes his little fingers across  the screen,
taps the app buttons to hop around to each app and play.
If we don't let him have it to play with...
well, he lets us have it.
It's a full on tantrum thrown down with a side of a cry fest.

Have we spoiled him with the iPad??
Did we go overboard and create an iPad monster?

The hubs and I decided that the iPad obsession has gone too far.
We have to do something about it.

We came up with "Screen Time" rules.
Colby is only allowed to have 2 hours of "Screen Time" a day.
And what that entails is simple.
Anything that has a screen is timed.
He only gets 2 hours a day.
And the 2 hours is most certainly not all at one time.
A show here, and there, and some play time on the iPad throughout the day.

He has a ton of educational apps on the iPad.
From books to games to silly apps that he just loves.
Talking Gina is his ultimate fav!

Is 2 hours too much?
I don't know?
How do any parents know what is the actual right thing to do?

Some days he will go all day and night without watching TV or playing with the iPad.
So, I think its a good balance for us right now.

I can't wait to share Colby's favorite apps with you all soon.
Hopefully you will find some new good ones for your little ones.
If you haven't checked out Talking Gina, you must.
She keeps Colby entertained for a while and he just giggles and giggles at her.
It's not by any means educational but its still a fun app.

So what are your rules for TV watching and iPad play in your house?
Have any suggestions for us?


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1 comment:

Lindsey said...

Just finishing my master's in education and technology, there really is no set recommendation. You really only hear the most extreme recommendation of no screen time before the age of two, which I feel is for those people who never have had a child in the first place! Every article, forum, white paper I have read varies in their stance. However, the most recurring theme I have read? CONTENT. Apps are fine and great for kids, as long as the content is educational.

Connor throws a fit about the iPad, too. Luckily the weather has turned nice and he would rather be outside. He is not a movie kid, either. TV? It may be on, but he is shooting hoops in his playroom as Umi Zoomi is on in the background.

We make sure to keep the iPad out of his sight so it doesn't trigger a meltdown. We keep it hidden around the house so he doesn't associate a certain spot with it and sit there and cry for it. I typically redirect his request for the iPad with a bike ride, wagon ride, or coloring.

This is such a tough debate and as electronics are becoming an increasing norm across homes in America, we should be seeing more researched information coming out about screen time for kids that extends beyond the simple television.