Screen time is something that I’ve struggled with since Squeaker was old enough to figure out how to operate a tablet. That would be around 14 months of age, maybe a little bit sooner. She will be 2 in December, and I understand that many children are figuring out how to operate tablets at younger ages. This both amazes and saddens me. Still, I wanted to weigh the pros and cons of screen time for toddlers before making a definitive decision.
Whether it was watching her sister, her brothers, or myself use a tablet or Kindle; Squeaker has always been fairly aware of the goings on with electronic devices. She also watches a few television programs with us, though it’s usually limited to Jeopardy, Wheel of Fortune, and Chopped. It wasn’t something that I wanted her to actively experience, but in small doses, I suppose it was okay.
Kyle and I had already agreed that we would not be purchasing a tablet, Kindle, iPad, etc.. for her and that we would kindly request for relatives to not do the same.
It just wasn’t something that we wanted for her. She has plenty of toys, after all, and I wanted her to be more concerned with books than with a device.
However, I am also coming to realize that there might be a few benefits of letting her have guided and/or limited screen time. Either through the Kindle or otherwise. Especially after I discovered the joys of Netflix. Finding a few educational apps also helped the cause, provided it was something that I could do with her.
Pros of Screen Time:
* It gives me a little time to do something without her.
* Educational apps
* Netflix- for entertainment and for education. I plan on using Netflix later on in homeschooling. Plus we can access Netflix on my tablet, the Kindle, and the computer.
* Free Time Unlimited (though this is used more by Sweet B, there are some shows on there that Squeaker enjoys watching that aren’t on Netflix).
Cons of Screen Time
* It’s screen time and as much as I would prefer for her to be interacting with a book, toys, or with me- it’s a screen.
* Sometimes when she’s denied screen time, her tantrums are epic.
* Some of the apps require monthly subscriptions which may or may not fit into our tightening budget
Overall, including reasons that aren’t listed, the pros do outweigh the cons at this point. And I think with guided/limited screen time, we can continue to see the benefits for her.
Do you use screen time for your children?
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