Thursday, October 22, 2015

Basil fried rice

To borrow a Thai idiom, screen time is like basil fried rice.  It's good- and you know you'll like it every time you order it- but you only choose it when there's nothing better on the menu.

My kids love screen time and ask for it often during weekends and school breaks.  But if given a choice, they would choose a board game, a craft, a science project, sensory play, cooking, or a bike ride over screentime almost anytime.  It's just that the iPad is right there and doesn't take any effort or thought.  Sure, I could blame them for being lazy.  They are in charge of their own fun, and all that.

But when I help them think of non-tech ideas, they are always onboard.  They played with the kinetic sand for ages yesterday.  If they default to computer games whenever they are looking for something to do, it's probably because we haven't made other options readily available enough that they spring to mind.  We should help with that, until it becomes habit.

This year, the boys' October break has been a great balance of tech and non-tech activities. While I personally would prefer less or no screentime for them, I know I watched plenty of TV and played my share of computer and Nintendo games when I was a kid (especially during school holidays.)  Sometimes downtime is just downtime- and not every moment of their lives needs to be educational or beneficial.  Heck, I still like my mindless Facebook time. 

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