I understand why we have ‘Mommy Guilt’ when it comes to screen time with tablets, iPods or smartphones.
You may be saying to yourself…“They should be outside!” “They should be active!” “This device is a waste of time!” They should be talking with me and not looking at that device!”
Yes, we are ‘shoulding’ on ourselves all the time! (I borrowed that from a friend of mine!) I’m a Mom of three kids ...I get it!
I believe there's three reasons why we (Moms) feel guilty when it comes to screen time, here's my list:
We feel that technology is entertainment and has limited value.
We feel that our children could be doing something ‘better’ with their time.
We feel that technology is replacing an opportunity for ‘real’ connections with people.
So to stop (or at least minimize) Mommy Guilt when it comes to using technology devices at home…consider these three tips:
1. Show your child how to use these devices as a powerful tool!
Smartphones and tablets can be used to help kids learn, connect with others and create in a new way. If your child needs to learn how to add numbers, you can start to look for engaging apps that will allow you to work with them in a new and fun way, so they can learn while sitting with you. If your child feels they are not creative, you may see a new creative side with the use of images, music and videos using various programs. You can tap into this creative side and use it to help them with their homework or they could send their creation to a family member that is far away. If your child dislikes writing, then ask them to start texting or writing to family members, such as their grandparents, as a way to engage them in writing while allowing them to connect in a new and motivating way! It’s fun to see what they want to talk about or ask their grandparents!!
2. Keep ownership of these devices for as long as you can!
When you ‘own’ the device and it’s offer to your child to allow them to learn, create and connect with others (see above) then you are directing how you and your child views and uses the device. If you start out using technology in this way and offer it as a ‘tool’ instead of a ‘toy’ your child will respect and use it the way you want them to.
3. Model what you want to see!
I believe if you are active, your child will follow you! Offer them a challenge to beat you in a game of 21 (basketball) or play a fun game of soccer or play tag in the swimming pool. When you feel your child needs more outside time, consider taking 15 minutes to get outside with them. I have no doubt you’ll be out there longer than 15 minutes!! When you create this fun, it’s not a challenge to get them outside and away from these devices (because I think at times...it might be the adults that need to get away from their devices….I’m speaking about myself of course)