Screen Time: The Battle for Your Kids Attention

Screentime: The Battle for Your Kids Attention

We are the average american family in today’s digital age.

We get regular exercise, eat healthy and have quality time as a family. Our 10 year old daughter has her own iPhone, Instagram and email account. Our 6 year old has an iPod and is obsessed with the TV. Our 3 year old loves a certain preschool mouse website, the TV and my iPhone whenever she can get her little sticky hands on it. We are normal and healthy. Or so I thought…

You may have seen a few articles circulating the net lately, like this one from Huffington post CLICK HERE. Talking about how children 12 and under should not be allowed to use handheld devices. As I suspected it was one sided and designed to scare parents. It lists delayed development, obesity and addictions as problems with technology, just to name a few. Things that at first made my heart race as I scanned the article. The further I read, it became quite clear to me that it was more to scare parents into compliance than to start a discussion about the topic of kids and technology.

Today I want to open up that topic and really weigh the pros against the cons. There are both and they need to be discussed. As a parent with three kids under twelve in the era where technology is advancing rapidly, I wanted to know what is really happening to our kids when they are affected by TV, iPhones, computers and such. I NEED to know and so do you. Over the next few weeks I will be discussing this topic on the blog.

I want to assure you, parent to parent, that I am not coming to this topic from any one sided view. I have been studying this for a few weeks now and have been taking notes on different issues surrounding this topic for years. I am not a professor, scientist or psychologist. I am a mom who wants what is best for my kids and I want to share and discuss my findings with you.

Here is what we will discuss over the next few weeks.

1. Health aspects of technology, what do we need to be aware of. How much exposure is okay and how much is not. Is there a balance or a way to detox our bodies and minds regularly so that any exposure we do have is reversible or cancelled out.

2. Different sources of technology that we expose our children too. How to use them, what times/ages are best for using them. What we need to supervise 100% and what we can just keep an eye on.

3. How technology is affecting communication and learning. Where tech stands in our society and culture. How we can find true balance with technology in our family life and as a society. How it affects our parenting styles.

4. Technology balance implementation. We will be giving you a worksheet and guide to help your family be successful with the interaction of technology. We will also have a list of suggestions for what to do with/for your kids when you can’t offer them technology as a way for you to get something done. (Bear with me, I know that last sentence was a bit shocking.  Trust me though, my kids still have their iPhone, iPad, and TV! And I get stuff done, like writing this post!)

So in conclusion I want to share with you from my heart. We are a tech family, nothing is going to change that fact. We are learning how to use it in balance with life. Writing this series is just as much for my own benefit. I want to know how to deal with the constant mothers guilt I get when I push the power button, the constant plea from my kids for one of their devices and the idea that there must be a balance for it all. There is a balance, I know it.  This series will show us how to progress as families to the way we want and need to live while integrating technology in our lives.

-Natalie Hixson

Question: How do you use technology in your family? Do you have any tips that you use to help keep a balance in your life?

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