Have we ever let our kids play tablets or watch tv mindlessly? Yes.
Will we ever again? Probably not.
It was the first practice for my girls’ competitive cheerleading team, and my boys were looking around, bored, sticky and hot in the crowded viewing area to see if there were other kids to play with. There were, there were almost ten other boys Caleb’s age, but they all had their necks flexed as far forward as possible, transfixed by tiny flashing screens. There were even kids as young as Owen (who is two by the way) breathlessly holding onto their parents’ cell phones as surprise egg videos played for them. At one point, a mom was receiving a call, when she tried to retrieve her cell phone from her toddler… you would have thought she was trying to pull out her kidney! All the moms seemed to nod, knowingly.
Hey, I am a mom of 4, I totally get public displays of bad behaviour, but can we not see a causal link here parents? This technology is addictive and inappropriate for this age.
The day this happened, I did still allow my kids to access screens at least most week days. When Owen napped, the other kids could have an hour or so of tablet or tv time. Although I didn’t love it, I figured it gave me a chance to catch up on work I needed to do or have some alone time.
However, watching those small children clutching onto those screens as fiercely as a drug addict would his next hit… it flipped a switch inside of me.
It has now been a month, and I can’t see us going back to screens. The changes that I have witnessed have been spectacular and as I have researched further into screens and their impact on young people, it has solidified my decision.
Look out for part 2 on how we have removed screens.