Archive for computers

Television, Computers, iPhones, OH my!

The AMA makes a recommendation of no more than two hours of television a day for children starting at age five.  However, I just did a search and it doesn’t seem that the AMA has a recommendation for computer time or iPhone time.

I see parents all the time handing their iPhones to their kids for entertainment. I personally don’t have one.  I kinda don’t want the responsibility.  It seems so delicate fear the kids might break it or more likely I will break it (lol)!

I feel as parents, we have to start limiting exposure to computers and iPhones, just as we have done with television.  We need to be interacting with our children.  Just as parents have campaigned long and hard to get kids off the couch, we need to campaign get kids away from computers too.  If kids are sitting in front of a computer or an iPhone, they aren’t interacting, learning how to be bored and find something to do.  As parents, when we hand our child an iphone to play with, we are depriving them of the experience of being bored and using their creative mind to find something to do.  Yes, they may play with their silverware, pick their nose, play in their water glass or run cars all over the table, but that is ok.  Children are supposed to do those things. Children are NOT supposed to be silent or even well behaved all the time.  Yes, going out to eat or in the car with a kid  can be an unpleasant experience, but who said life was supposed to be all peachy keen and roses.  That is NOT the point!

We are bubble wrapping our kids against unpleasant experiences and ruining their creativity, their ability to think of something they might enjoy and experiment with that idea. We need to limit the computer time. We need to end the iPhone time.  These are not appropriate developmental activities for a child.  Children should be talking, reading, drawing, running, jumping, screaming, crying, LEARNING.  That is what being a child is ALL about.

NOW…let me be the first to say that is WAY easier to let your kids watch TV or use the computer or iPhone.  I have had many mornings I have wanted to plop them in front of the television and run screaming from the house. I don’t think I am alone in this sentiment.  The iPhone is much cleaner to carry in our purses than the leaking pen, the melting crayons and quieter than the toy ambulance that has the siren that keeps going off.  But the truth is, interacting with our children over the crayons and the leaky pen or negotiating the use of the siren, is the fabric of life.  These interactions are part of what our relationship with our children is built upon. Electronics seem to white wash these experiences and keep us from interacting with our children.  It used to be that parents carried a bag of cars or a coloring book in their bag to entertain their children. Now we all reach for our cell phones and it just isn’t the same.  These devices ZAP! creativity and ZAP! our relationships.

They draw us farther apart, not closer together.