Let’s be real. What parent hasn’t left their children to entertain themselves down an endless rabbit hole of YouTube videos. I’m not proud to admit it, but even as I write this, my child is visiting with Auntie Siri, her favorite babysitter. “Mommy just needs to finish working real quick, so go back to the Disney app, and no more watching WorldStar fights, okay, sweetie?”
Yeah, today’s children are not what they used to be. But if we’re honest, today’s parents aren’t what they used to be. For better or worse, we, as modern-day parents and children, have had to evolve to a new world landscape. And perhaps the most significant change over the past 20 years has been the influence of technology in our lives.
Kids spend roughly 6.5 hours a day on screen time (that’s time dedicated to TVs, tablets, phones, computers, etc), according to SCREENAGERS, a new documentary that examines “the impact of screen technology on kids.” And it’s interesting to note, those 6.5 hours of screen time don’t even include time spent for educational purposes, so the estimate of total time on these devices may even be higher.
And for the real shocker, 92 percent of American children have an online presence before they reach the age of 2. This is according to a 2010 AVG study, which was highlighted in the recently published book, American Girls: Social Media and the Secret Lives of Teenagers. In the book, the author explores the disturbing effects the Internet and social media has had on the modern-day teenager.
Together, these recent exposés paint the picture of how the presence of technology in our children’s lives have created a host of problems for our children, such as premature-/over-sexualization, bullying, violence, addiction, distraction, identity issues, bad grades, etc. However, we can’t negate the positives of technology and the convenience and capabilities it has introduced in our lives also. But can there be a healthy balance or must parents take an all-or-none approach?
BMWK parents, where do you stand on the issue? Do you restrict your child’s access to screen time? If so, by how much? And how do you address the modern-day problems associated with these technologies?
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