Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Electronic Time

I know there is a lot of different opinions floating around about electronics and how much time we should allow our children to be on them. I have read all the pros and cons, and believe me there are way more cons then there are pros. We have leaned towards a non limited electronic life in our home. The only thing that I limit is the use of my compute. First of all, Selena can do anything on her tablet that she could do on my computer. That is not to say that I won't turn my computer into a tablet and allow her to play on it. She also has her own computer loaded with games, mostly educational but it is not connected to our Internet. Why do we allow so much electronic time? Well, simply put, our daughter even with such a strong imagination is not one to play with legos, she has her "My Little Ponies" and her Barbies as well as plenty of board games and science kits, but we truly see her shine and come to life when she is playing Minecraft, listening to music on YouTube, watching certain cartoons, and YouTube videos. She is not left to go willy dilly but is monitored as to what she can watch. The only times she can not be on her tablet is when it has to be charged. We find by allowing her unlimited time on the electronics she is more conscious about the time she does spend on it. Instead of trying to fit every thing she wants to do in a time limit, she takes her time and thrives in what she is doing. If she is playing Minecraft, it is nothing to see her go split screen to find a video that will assist her in the process of building or defeating a level. The process is all about learning. She brings her "My Little Ponies" to life since so many now come with a special mark that she scans into her tablet and pulls up a full story to go with that pony, hence she is reading and learning. She also has amazon to read books, as well as TV to watch when she doesn't care for what we are watching. If she has a question I can't answer she can verbally or type her question into her tablet and get the answer to her question, many times educating me. I see our world evolving around electronics and I feel we can embrace it or fight it. We choose to embrace it.

 It is not uncommon in our home to find Selena in her bedroom with her toys, blankets, pillows and tablet. She loves Minecraft so usually that is filling in her time. It is not uncommon to hear her just singing away to her YouTube music. I encourage you to read my post on promoting reading here. We also allow her to watch cartoons on TV when we are not watching something we want to watch.

Not the best picture, but for her birthday we did give her an iPod. No it is not the newest iPod with the touch screen and ever so fancy, but she is able to download the music she enjoys and listen to it as she pleases. That is if she isn't listening to our satellite radio. I remember at her age I had my own mini stereo system and listened to my music all the time, I wasn't told what I could listen to, or what I couldn't listen to, I do not believe my choices of music had any impact on how I grew up or the person I became. We as parents can spend to much time picking songs apart and worry too much about this word or that word, when really music is all about the beat, the music, the lyrics really are just a poem or piece of poetry that goes along with the music. Most of the time kids don't even know the true words or their meaning, and neither do adults, if you ever really listen to someone trying to sing a song, it can be rather hilarious to hear how they interpret the words unless they are reading them. I do not find Selena's taste in music as a bad taste, in fact I have been known to embarrass her because I like the same music and get a little to carried away with dancing or being to dramatic to the songs in the car.

I say come on, we live in a world of the cutting edge to electronics. We have for years, from the time I was a kid and colored TV was introduced, to the Stereo and finally FM radio. We can either limit our children from the world they are growing up in or we can embrace it and help them grow in this world. Do I see it preventing Selena from being outside? No, she will gladly lay her electronics down to go play and have fun! I believe however, if I were to limit her she would probably give up playing outside just to spend that hour on her electronics.

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1 comment:

  1. A also enjoys computer time a lot, but we don't allow unlimited games or YouTube exploration. She spends a lot of times watching different videos on Khan Academy, some TED videos or creates her own programs. I go back and forth on limits, but I agree with you on the importance of computer literacy in our modern age.