Here’s a personal experience from one of our trainers – Karina.
I have so many mixed emotions about technology, especially now that I know what it’s like dealing with preschoolers and tech. While I’ve never been a person who just doesn’t watch TV, it’s also so easy to get sucked in and have it become too much, and it’s the same with my phone. Lately I’ve found that the key to making it work as a digital parent is utilizing this tool as we need or want to and then knowing when we don’t want it.
Balancing preschoolers and tech
In the past I’ve tried to implement a no-screen-day, including phones, but sometimes life is busy and that makes it hard to stick to the goals you make. Right now, while we are all staying at home, I’ve been trying to be more mindful about technology use for myself and my son.
We set timers, monitor content, but I’m still concerned that we are all so reliant on screens for entertainment. When my son wakes up in the morning and comes to our room and the first thing he asks for is YouTube, I am not thrilled. Of course, we mostly say no, which is definitely not his favorite thing to hear.
Right now, we are making a concentrated effort to have a varied and healthy downtime, which is something I teach when I go into schools. In parenting, I want there to be a healthy relationship between preschoolers and tech. It’s important for the kids to understand that I’m not making technology the enemy, or that I think it’s bad. I just want them to realize it’s okay to choose to do other things.
There are so many choices out there, one thing I try to emphasize is that it’s okay to say no to things or that they can pick a new activity if what they are doing in their down time not enjoyable.
Utilize their interests
Our family is really into soccer. My son could play soccer and sports all day long, hejust needs someone to play with. Working from home makes that a little challenging, but I take breaks throughout the day and try to do something with him. Even my husband, who is still going in to work, comes home for lunch or a break and plays with us.
It’s become like our own form of recess right now. We take the time to play, run around the yard, and just do all the things kids like to do.
Sometimes that means we read 10 books in a row. Sometimes that means we play soccer outside AND inside. (We are at Living Room Soccer Goal obsession level here.) The most important thing to remember is to have fun. And if you are completely overwhelmed, that’s okay, we’ve all been there.
One more little secret:
Recently my son discovered Frozen, loves to sing all the songs, and asks to watch it every day. I also love that really, he’s just in it for the songs. PARENTING HACK: this means I can play the soundtrack and it will make him just as happy! Then, I can get away with showing the movie once or twice a week instead of every day.
The most important thing I’ve learned since becoming a parent is that we are all trying our best and some days are going to be worse than others, but at least we have so many awesome and great resources at our fingertips. There’s no reason to be afraid of technology. There’s also no reason to be afraid to turn it off either.