What screen time looks like in our house

As parents my husband and I are in agreement that for our kids we are more than happy to limit the screen time and technology they get. 

Some people tell us that our children will be behind other kids when the time comes to use ipads and technology. I disagree.  Kids pick up stuff like that so quickly - and the limited use they do get shows they do understand how to use the stuff, but they also understand the role it plays in our lives and to be honest we've never had a battle or argument over it. 

We have one child in prep at school so he doesn't watch TV Monday to Friday because there simply isn't time.  My Kindy aged child watches tv on his 'home' days, and I don't really have an issue because to be honest it suits us both to have quiet days at home.  Some days he will watch his favourite shows or movies on repeat, and other days the tv is the furthest thing from his mind - so I go with the flow and take his lead.  On the weekend the kids do watch tv but not to excess and they spend just as much time (if not more) active outdoors or playing inside, and to be honest it also means hubby and I get time to do the things that we need to get done on the weekend.

As for technology, our view is that the technology itself is not necessary.  If there is something they need or want and can get it by no other means then we use technology together to find it (google and youtube are frequent requests, usually once mummy and daddy get stumped on an answer to the 5876th question they had on a particular topic). However they don't have access to ipads/tablets, don't get to use our phones (except to take the occasional photo of a masterpiece they created) and they get limited access to the family computer for games.

Thankfully the school our eldest child goes to is somewhat alternative in its philosophy, being that it is a Reggio Emilia inspired school.  Besides a communal interactive whiteboard in the classroom, and occasional shared ipad use, there is no technology in the classroom.  They don't use or encourage reading eggs or any other literacy apps either.  This is for prep, and there is technology used in the older grades, but prep should always be play based in my opinion and research so we are thrilled with the approach.  In fact they have a 2 hour Thinking Play session every single day in which they plan an activity or hypothesis of their choice, undertake the play/experiment/activity, then journal the activity and share it with the class.  This allows critical thinking, exploration, deep thought and sharing points of view and the kids just love it.

We will see what the future brings and like anything parenting related, no sooner do you think you have it figured out - things change that force you to re-asses and try something else - and we are happy to change and adapt as needed.

Whatever your take on technology and screens, I think as long as you've thought it through and made a decision that suits your family then you are on the money!

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