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Lasraik

Article: Too much toddler screen time tied to worse social, motor skills by kindergarten

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I see lots of parents put a phone or tablet in their kids hands to shut them up or keep them occupied.

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It's a really emotive subject in our house, and i believe it's similar in the house of colleagues i speak to. Fin didn't really use screens until he was about 6-7. He can't use any screens now, including TV from bedtime Sunday, through to finish of school on Friday. On weekends, i'd guess he has around 3-6 hours per day, many of those hours being very early, before we get up. I'd say he has too much and we're discussing how to bring that down in a constructive way. He can use screens for homework, or lessons and learning stuff. But that has proven to be rare.

My other concern is the content. All he wants to do is watch youtube videos. The passive/deadhead nature of this bothers me, and i'd be happier if he was interacting, puzzle-solving, hand-eye coordinating. Yes, even Fortnite. But he has no interest in most things and mum won't let him play fortnite, even when directly supervised (which i disagree with).

I'd be interested in hearing from other parents of young children, what their approach  is.

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The obsession with watching YouTube, especially to watch other people play games you could be playing yourself, confuses me. I'd rather actually play something and only watch a video to get a clue about something than sit there watching a guy I don't know play the game, and yet they seem more focused on the guy playing than the game itself! Something about it strikes me as not quite right.

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19 hours ago, Lasraik said:

I see lots of parents put a phone or tablet in their kids hands to shut them up or keep them occupied.

What's the difference between a pacifier, rattle or some other toy?  Parents have been giving their kids something to occupy them since the beginning of time.

My kids are teens so its a little different.  But I had the same thoughts when they were younger.  All my daughter does is watch YouTube.  My sons time switches from playing video games to watching YouTube with the occasional GoT.  He's been playing games since he was young without restrictions ... much to the disagreement of mom.

Many times I will hear my daughter on FaceTime with her friends.  Or in direct contact with their friends via SnapChat or in my son's case, game chat.

I have a couple of rules, do NOT go over your data and put the phone away while we're eating.  Outside if that, I don't have many restrictions.  I do worry about content ... but lets face it.  In this world, they can access anything they want, anytime they want.  So, I have to trust them.  And as long as they do good in school, aren't getting in trouble, and doing what they need to do ... I am not going to restrict things.  If I find drugs, grades slip or something else ... that will change.

Couple of things I notice. 

1.  Its normal behavior for them and their friends.  For many parents, I am the only adult they know that plays video games so many will confide in me when they have concerns.  I have had more than one friend say all their kid does is play video games and they are worried.  I make a distinction between playing something by yourself and playing with your friends.  I hear my son playing a lot and he is usually on with his friends.  So ... its something he and his friends do together.  Do you wish that they would be outside shooting hoops, yes.  But that doesn't happen.  Hell, me and my friends didnt always do that either.

2.  I make a distinction between normal and abnormal behavior.  Its the abnormal kids that usually have problems or are socially awkward.  For my generation, it was normal to watch a lot of TV and at the time, the adults were worried.

3.  There are benefits to this behavior.  My kids look at all kinds of crap on youtube and some of it is actually educational.  Sometimes I will be very surprised at what comes up.  For instance, my son was watching a video on Brexit.  My daughter looks up all kinds of how to stuff.  So when compared to me and what I watched growing up, there are advantages.

4.  My kids talk to their friends more than I could have ever imagined.  They do things with their friends in a way that I couldn't even conceive of.  Sure, both kids are in their bedrooms, but they are doing something, together.  In my book, that counts for something.  Same with Xbox or PC games ... they are with their friends doing something.  They are safe and not getting into trouble.  There are chat groups and other things.  My daughter has a chat group for her basketball team.  There is another one for all the kids that live in the neighborhood.  Which is why boys show up when my daughter has a sleepover.  So while I may not like curtain things, I would be more worried if my kids were on their devices and NOT with their friends.

5.  Last but not least ... I disagree with the kids not learning.  They are learning a skill, a very valuable one.  Kids today better learn how to interact with tech devices.  How many of us have had to help an older adult with something tech related?  I have had to help an uncle open his hotel room door by swiping a keycard.  My father inlaw navigate the menu on his cable box.  Some random stranger navigate a touch screen at a gas station.  I have been surprised at what my kids know about their phones and other devices.  So as a kid, growing up in 2019, you better know how to work these devices ... because they are only going to get more prevalent, not less.

All that being said, I'm with Jazz ... I don't understand watching someone else play a video game.  Now get off my lawn!

Edited by Dunnar
Elovia and Boag like this

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Not all screen time is the same.

That being said, we don't allow any Monday through Thursday, but the weekends they can get allot if they have their grades and other responsibilities in order.

They all seem normal to me.

 

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