Guess what? There’s another new study telling parents how we’re all going to screw up our kids forever. Isn’t that fun!?
This time it’s about toddlers and tech. Turns out we parents are effectively setting our kids up for a lifetime of tech addition.
The relatively small survey of 1,000 parents commissioned by ITV's Good Morning Britain stated, "Toddlers who spend up to three hours a day staring at smartphones, tablets, and TVs could be at risk of developing screen dependency disorders later in childhood, it has been claimed."
The article goes on to state even more scary stats like how two out of five parents allow their kids to use tablets or phones to keep kids busy while traveling. Who are these awful people? Or how 13% allowed their children to play with gadgets during meal time (OMG! The horror!).
Recently the Canadian Paediatric Society also recommended that parents and caregivers of children under the age of five should not only minimize screen time at home, but use it mindfully themselves.
Let’s cut to the chase, shall we?
Back when my boys were toddlers, the studies all pointed to how too much television would wreck my kids because I’m ancient, and we didn’t have tablets or phones back then.
Not ever letting your kids watch television is great in theory, but (simply put) there were days when I needed a break. Days when I was sick and my husband was working, days where I was exhausted because I was looking after a toddler and a newborn who never slept, or it was just the dinnertime witching hour and I needed the kids to be occupied.
I vividly remember a day when I had the Norwalk virus and was dividing my time between the couch and the bathroom. Both kids were glued in front of the television all day long.
And in a phrase I never thought I’d utter: thank you, Caillou.
This happened more than once throughout the years. We also allowed them to *gasp* watch movies on a portable DVD player when we went on long road trips. And, for a while the never-blinking Dora with her annoying monkey sidekick got me through many a meal time.
Those young boys are now 15 and 13 and are both pretty darn good human beings who actively contribute to the community, take part in sports, play with friends outside, and make decent grades. They most definitely aren’t addicted to television or technology. But that’s not to say we haven’t had arguments about tech usage throughout the years, because it’s an ongoing conversation.
For the most part, we all know that sitting our kids in front of screens all day, every day, isn’t a good thing. But you also need to know you shouldn’t feel guilty for when you do use tech because you need a break.
And - more importantly - you’re not completely screwing up your kids by doing it.
In the meantime, you know what I would like? A study on how many parents are sick of all these studies. I for one will raise my hand.