Tuesday, 20 May 2014

No screen time for the littles

I want to preface this post by saying I am not judging anyone! This is just how I believe in raising my kids.

Moving on.

A lot of people comment about my little one's overall relaxed behavior. Although he's a wild boy who is constantly on the move at a sprint, he knows how to sit still, be patient, and entertain himself. Tantrums are rare around here, and communication gets easier every day. I'm sure there are many factors, including just plain luck, but I honestly attribute part of his behavior to the fact that I don't turn on "his favorite show" or let him play "educational games" on the iPad.

I recently read this great article about children and screen time, and this quote essentially sums up my reasoning regarding my baby and why I raise him the way I do:
Between 0 and 2 years, infant's brains triple in size, and continue in a state of rapid development to 21 years of age (Christakis 2011). Early brain development is determined by environmental stimuli, or lack thereof. Stimulation to a developing brain caused by overexposure to technologies (cell phones, internet, iPads, TV), has been shown to be associated with executive functioning and attention deficit, cognitive delays, impaired learning, increased impulsivity and decreased ability to self-regulate, e.g. tantrums (Small 2008, Pagini 2010).

My level of motherhood experience is extremely low, but in my 18 months "on the job" I can already see the benefits of keeping screen exposure to a minimum for my child. I love our home being low media, and I'm very protective of it. I love that my little boy can keep himself busy for hours building with blocks, "reading" books, playing cars, helping me with chores, coloring, doing puzzles, exploring outside, and whatever else he finds interesting that day. I know these activities are building his independence and ability to learn, and I love seeing his creativity blossom from them.


  1. I actually really like this idea. Teaching high school students who have been raised with technology as a form of entertainment is a totally different animal than the kind of students we were. Yes, I believe technology is here to stay and kids need to know how to use these devices for the modern job market, but 2 year olds do not need to be more proficient on how to get to their favorite game than their parents. There's a definite balance that has to be found, and I don't think enough parents are working to find that balance. Technology is a tool, not a babysitter.

  2. I hear this from teachers SO much! They say they can always tell which kids watch a lot of TV at home and those who don't. I love using technology to help my kids learn (it's so cool I can pull up a video of moose fighting to teach my son what they can do!), but I definitely don't let them watch their "favorite show" on repeat every day. I couldn't even do that to myself!