My children love their electronics, they watch TV, YouTube and use their LeapPad tablets. I know their is a lot of parents who don’t allow their children to have access to these electronics and I salute you because you must be busy. In our house we let them use them if they can figure out how to, but we also moderate.
I have 3 kids, aged almost 6, almost 5, and 7 months. To say I am busy is an understatement. I wake up at 7 and go to bed at midnight. We have an extracurricular activity every day of the week (Monday-Saturday). There are doctors appointments, groceries and my most time consuming activity: Cleaning.
My son has always been an early riser (5:30 sometimes) and until recently he had woken me up when he got up for the day. Now he is more independent, he dresses himself, makes breakfast (English muffin with cream cheese) and goes to the computer to watch YouTube videos of Hot Wheels track reviews and X-Men cartoons so that mommy can get an extra hour of sleep. This is his “thing”. Our computer has “child settings” and the internet opens up to YouTube where I am logged in and my favorites (Sophia and Hot Wheels) show up. He stays quiet and happy while I wake up happy, so for me this is a Win/Win.
When we go out I encourage my children to bring their LeapPads because I don’t want them to get bored and cranky. I would prefer them to play games that help them with their math, science and spelling. They have a virtual pet that they have to take care of and it reminds me of my Nano baby when I was a kid. I prefer my kids quiet and not getting into trouble.
Their are times when I am helping one child with homework while the other one watches TV until we can do an activity together. I don’t believe that TV stops my child’s imagination from working, if anything it helps it expand. I find my kids playing in their rooms all of the time for hours on end. My son sets up his room with ramps and mountains (blankets) and plays Hot Wheels for hours. Most times I find my daughter playing with him and they are not grasping at imagination straws. Their setup is elaborate, as are their stories. My son plays “house” with my daughter as well. They have their play kitchens, a “grocery store” and babies in strollers.
We spend our evenings in the back yard, riding bikes to the park, and going to gymnastics and Tae Kwon Do. We are not a family that stays still, yet they do spend around 3 hours engaged in the electronic devices in our house. They go to bed at 8 PM sharp, no and’s, if’s, or buts about it, because after 8 is my time. There is no nightmares from the shows they watch if anything they wake up after dreaming they were in a Pokemon Battle or flying on a magic carpet ride with Jasmine and Aladdin.
For our family electronics are a just a part of the picture, but they are also a big part of why we function so well. I do not “leave” my electronics to babysit my kids, instead my kids use them to help them grow and expand. It may not work for everyone, but it works for us. I would love to know what your thoughts are on your children and their electronic usage, do you permit or forbid?