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Are your kids spending way too much electronics time? Always in front of a screen, be it a video game, tablet, phone or tv? Do you struggle with finding the balance between entertainment and education? And when you finally take the devices away, do you get temper tantrums and meltdowns?
Me too. It’s not easy, and it’s something our family still struggles with. But I have made some small changes that are slowly adding up to create different habits and outcomes. Some days it still feels like one step forward, two steps back. But I’m confident that if we keep at it, we’ll reach a balance that we can all live with.
As a single mom, electronics time from a young age is the only way I keep up with everything. Putting on an episode of Blue’s Clues or Thomas the Tank Engine (I’m dating myself here, aren’t I…) gave me 20 minutes to fold a load of laundry, or start dinner. A Disney/Pixar movie, with my toddler planted firmly between my curled up legs and the back of the couch could equal a much needed nap for me, especially after nightshift.
Too Much Is Not A Good Thing
I am well aware of the dangers of too much electronics time. I’m living it. My youngest could definitely be considered “addicted” to video games. If he is not squarely policed, he will play incessantly. He’ll forget to eat, sacrifice sleep, and get so wound up and aggressive that he becomes completely unmanageable.
Yes, I am partly to blame. I said yes to the hand-me-down iPads that both boys were given. I bought the video game console. And the second one when the first was considered too “childish” (Come on Mom, nobody plays Wii, it’s gotta be PS4 or Xbox!) It was me that purchased the video games, and agreed when others gifted more games. And yes, I downloaded Pokemon Go on my phone (and have been known to play it on occasion when the 10 year old is not around, don’t judge me…).