Society as a whole likes to condemn & blame things that we don’t fully understand. New things, unproven things, are scary to us, & we tend to write them off as harmful without actual proof.
TV, video games, & iPhones are not ruining the next generation.
They are actually preparing them for the world that they will be involved in. The career paths that our children will choose will be heavily dependent on technology. Our children will need the skills that the iPad is teaching 3 year olds today.
So why are we so quick to take them away?
Why do we pat ourselves on the back when our child works on a physical puzzle (pieces all over the floor), but then feel guilty if we let him sit in the same spot & work on a puzzle on his tablet (which – by the way – does not require any clean up)?
Why do we feel that our child needs to sit with a pencil & paper & work on his letters when he can draw with animated stars & work on the same concepts?
Why can’t our children enjoy learning through dynamic technology in a fast-paced realm?
The world is a fast-paced, multi-tasking, technologically-advanced place. And it is only going to get more complicated.
In personal experience, my son has learned concepts through TV shows that are beyond what I would have thought to teach him. Those shows are created by people with education degrees… they are not the cartoons of my childhood. Networks like Nick Jr have realized what a great medium TV can be in teaching young children important concepts. We are way beyond Looney Tunes here, folks.
I hear children on the playground talking to each other about sharing, teamwork, & trying their best. They all speak the same Nick Jr language, & guess what – it works! They are kind, respectful, & understanding. They have had those concepts drilled into them by their favorite characters, & they have taken it to heart. Doesn’t that mean that screen time can be the opposite of evil?
Not to mention that when something appears to be a scarcity (like severely limiting screen time), children obsess over it even more. Matteo definitely goes through periods of time where all he wants to do is play games or watch shows, but when we let him get his fill, he moves on to other things.
Of course, the solution is balance. A good mix of structured activities, free play, outside time, relaxing time, etc… I am just arguing that screen time is an asset rather than a negative influence.
(I also recommend this interesting take on things: Today’s Video Games Are Making Kids Smarter)