I didn’t let my daughter watch television until she was two. In addition, we stopped paying for cable service several years back. However, we do have DVDs and a tablet device. When my son was born, I was nursing every few hours and had to come up with ways to keep her occupied. She did crafts. We read books. Sometimes, I would let her read animated books, play games and watch shows on our ipad. Eventually, she was watching more shows and asking to use the tablet every time I nursed the baby. I felt like she was becoming fixated on cartoons and animated apps. Thus, I gave her a technology time-out.
I explained to my daughter that we weren’t going to be watching as many shows. Then, I gave her some new choices. I pulled out her dollhouse, some ponies, puzzles and a card game. There were times she still wanted to “watch a show.” However, I stayed firm and encouraged her to do other activities. The next day, I did the same. It was the weekend and a little bit easier since my husband was around to occupy her.
I immediately noticed the benefits of the technology time-out. My daughter was starting to do more pretend play and was able to play by herself while I was nursing the baby. I also felt like she was more well-behaved and independent. I don’t mind if my daughter wants to watch television. I just don’t want that to be the first activity that comes to mind. I think kids should engage in pretend play, read books and work on puzzles. Even further, I like for my daughter to get outside and run around.
When I look around, I see kids that are glued to their smartphones. In fact, the average teen sends “60 texts per day.” Furthermore, the average child watches four hours of television a day. I think it’s easy to become consumed with technology. Social media, online games and television are fine in moderation. However, there is so much more to life than media. I want my kids to be active rather than idle participants in life.
It’s been several days since we reduced our screen time. It has been a little harder to nurse the baby and get him down for a nap. However, I’m glad we did the technology time-out. It’s much more fun watching my daughter pretend she is a turtle than watching her gaze at a screen.
Chenda Ngak Teens are sending 60 texts a day, study says
Television and Health csun.edu
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