Technology & TV: My Big Kid Pacifier

Posted on Posted in Blog, Parenting's Not Easy

Technology & TV: My Big Kid Pacifier

 
Did your children use pacifiers?  Mine did not.  I’d see kiddos walking around in the store with their mouths still plugged up at the age of three, four and five.  I did not want to spend months, and possibly years, trying to play the it’s- time- to-say-bye-bye to the binkie game.    Guess what? I may not have had to wean my kiddos from a pacifier, but somehow I still ended up playing the it’s-time-to-say-bye-bye game.
I am sure enough guilty of letting technology and/or the TV ‘pacify’ the kiddos while I work or catch up on peace and quiet. With their eyes locked on the TV screen or iPad I can clean up my entire house.  I can have mini me time moments throughout the day where I can watch a TV show or movie - from beginning to the end.  I can move slowly in making lunch or dinner because apparently technology, especially, delays hunger– who knew?
Sometimes when I say it’s time to cut off the TV or technology I have to endure all kinds of whining and ‘Aww man’s’.   If I don’t say put up the phone (for the teen), turn off the TV or put the iPad away I won’t hear from the kiddos for hours (too ashamed to say how many).   
We recently went for the kiddo’s yearly check-up.  On the ‘what you should be expecting at this age’ sheet the two hour time limit on TV and technology hit me.  While I proudly admitted we are eating our veggies and nodded my head to all of the developmental questions I did not confess to the doctor that we are way over the TV or technology limit… ahem… daily. 
According to a study by a group of Australian education and psychology experts:
  • 45% of 8 year olds to 80% of 16 year olds exceeded the recommended less than 2 hours 
  • On a typical weekday, 62.7% of study participants exceeded the less than 2 hours recommendation.
  • The most popular screen of use was TV, with almost 90% reporting watching TV in the week prior to the survey. This was followed by laptop (59%), iPad/Tablet (58%) and mobile phone (57%) use.
When the kiddos are off their tablets, iPads, phones or TV they talk to me.  They also whine to me too, eat more and fight over the smallest things.   I don’t want my children to be pacified with TV and technology but taking it away definitely brings on the meltdowns.  It won’t be easy but I suppose I have no choice but to play the bye-bye game to my mini me time moments…aww man.

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