How we are dealing with screen time

20-04-2018

We don’t.

In a world where we are more and more surrounded by screens, I’m not sure that denying your kid a screen is the right thing to do. Looking back in time, my parents (both in their late 60s) have known a time without TV. Can you imagine that? Fast forward 40 years. Where I have known a time without internet (and I’m halfway my 30s). Technology evolves at a fast pace. But kids of today are still being raised by parents (and grandparents) that grew up in a far less technology filled world. If you look at the use of a smartphone, social media or even e-mail, everything we know as a parent is what we have learned through experience. And that’s a problem. Some of us get scared. We don’t really know how to handle all these screens. So how are we supposed to tell our kids what to do?¬†We need to accept the fact that our kids grow up in a high tech world. And they need to know how to handle these things. If we can’t teach them, they need to learn it on their own.

As a developer and online communicator, I work a great amount of time behind a computer. My smartphone is an important tool to keep up with everything that is happening in my work, with my clients, and so on… Whether these things are addictive, is not something I’m going to discuss. But it means I’m looking at a screen all the time. Also when I’m around my kids. How can I deny them something that is such a big part of my own life?

I really want my kids to be familiar with technology. I want them to feel comfortable using it. I want them to be able to create it. Why? Because I truly believe that is where the future lies. Whatever they want to do in their lives, technology will be a part of it.

So I gave my son a cheap mobile phone. It has no data plan, only wifi. And he can use it whenever he wants. We’ll see where it takes us. He just watches some YouTube videos on it. And sometimes he plays a little game. He’s also keen on the camera. He has limited access to the apps, just the one I have approved. But he already knows how to handle the smartphone. He knows when the battery is low, he needs to charge it. He knows it takes time. And whenever we propose to play a game outside. He puts it aside without hesitation.

#adviceforparents #future #parenting #screentime #smartphone #technology