Wow, how is it June already?! Crazy how fast this year is flying by!
It’s time for another Let’s Be Honest Mamas post! This monthly collaboration began with this post, where my sweet mom blogger friend Hannah invited a few of us to answer a Q+A regarding what life is really like as a SAHM. It’s become a super fun way for us to connect as moms (find our hashtag #letsbehonestmamas on Insta!). Last month we partnered with aden + anais to give two mamas $100 store credit and it was the sweetest thing. Looking forward to giving back to you again soon! It’s because of you guys that we can do what we do, so thank you for reading and following along. Your support means everything.
This month’s theme is ‘Technology With Kids’ and I find it so ironic that I’m staring at a computer screen and talking about this topic right now! But such is the nature of this gig!
- Do you have an opinion on technology use with kids? Do you worry about being on your phone too much around your babies? This is a big concern of mine. Ben and I discuss it a lot and we’ve read articles about screen time with babies and young kids. The one the struck me the most was titled “The case for a screen-free childhood.” This dad and self-proclaimed ‘technophile’ (he’s owned nearly every gadget Apple has made) talks about his “no screens before 10” rule that he and his wife enforced with their kids. After his kids had grown up, they thanked him for it. The article also talks about how it can apply to adults. It really resonated with me. It’s easy to get caught up in the flow of doing things just because that’s what everyone else is doing or it’s become a habit to watch a show everyday. I wasn’t being intentional about screen time with Charley and I’m so glad that my husband brought up the subject so we could give it some thought.
Times have changed so much since I was a kid (and I’m only 28!!). I remember our family had an ancient looking computer and we’d have to sign into aol and I remember the little jingle, “you’ve got mail!” like it was yesterday. My mom and dad didn’t have a cell phone until I was older and I didn’t own a cell phone until I was in high school. And it wasn’t just mine, I shared it with my sister!! (LOL) I got my first smart phone in college and have seen how different it is with kids now versus when I grew up. I feel like kids are getting them SO young now. I worry about its impact on my child and although I appreciate the way that the internet and technology has improved our lives, I’m concerned about the addictive and mind numbing qualities it possesses.
- What age did you or will you allow your kids to play with your phone, iPad, etc.? Do you restrict what they do on it? Will you buy them their own tablet? I’ve shown videos and pictures of Charley to Charley (kids love watching themselves, don’t they?! haha) but after discussing it a lot more with my husband, I do that a lot less. I remember taking Charley on the plane to go visit my family and I had downloaded a shapes app for toddlers. I had it on my iPad and phone, ready to use it to help occupy him during the flights (where I was solo-parenting at the time!). He was about one and a half. I was surprised at how little it actually helped. He wasn’t interested or his attention span was so short it lasted only five minutes. On the flight back, I ditched the electronics (and even his toys that I’d brought along) and stuck with the things he was most interested in: the sleeve from my coffee cup, my hair tie, etc etc 😉 You know, anything that wasn’t a toy!
- At what age did you (or do you plan to) let your kids watch tv and for how much time per day? Certain tv shows/channels? We let Charley watch a select few Baby Einstein and Praise Baby DVDs, Sesame Street/Elmo’s World, and Mr. Rogers. We ends up watching an average of 30 minutes a day, but I’ve been trying to do more days of no TV lately. I reserve shows for when he’s not feeling the best or when I need to get something done/get ready (as in right now…!). I’m trying to be intentional about it and find the ever elusive “balance” we seek in all things motherhood! Growing up, I watched LOTS of Disney movies and I loved all the Disney princesses. I also remember watching Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood a lot. But rarely did my mom let me watch TV all morning. When she did, I got to watch only a select few. And I also remember her being present when I was watching a show. She may not have been in the room the whole time, but she made it a point to be available and there for most of it. I’m trying to do the same!
- What are your/your babe’s favorite tv shows and movies? Are you concerned with the message it teaches and do you restrict any shows in particular? Charley loves Elmo! He also has recently discovered the other muppets on Sesame Street and loves them. He also really loves and responds well to Mr. Rogers. I prefer to show him Mr. Rogers because I love the messages and topics covered in his shows. He’s so calm and really speaks to what children are concerned about. It’s amazing. I know it’s super old, but I don’t care. I think there’s more to gain from his show than people beep bopping around and singing songs. I love showing Charley Sesame Street and Elmo’s World, but sometimes, even that is too much stimulation. Mr. Rogers for the win!!
- If you do not use iPad/iPhones as entertainment/distractions while out, what types of activities, toys, explanations do you use? I find that getting outside helps. I know this helps Charley a ton, but I think it’s a pretty helpful thing for most babies/kids. I try to take him for walks, take him to the zoo, take him to a coffee shop (he actually does really well…especially at one in particular that we’ve been going to for forever! haha We’ve been going there for a long time and it’s where I prefer to meet up with friends and mama friends!). I take him to Barnes and Noble, where there is a wonderful little children’s section with a Thomas the Train track on a cute little table just his size. He loves trains, so sometimes I take him behind my favorite coffee shop and if we’re lucky, we can watch a train go by. We also just love to read. Sometimes even just moving from one part of the house to another really helps. If we’ve been in the living room too long, we’ll go to his room and play in his teepee or read books if we can’t go outside. I’ve found that just being mindful of screen time and trying to limit it has been helpful. It helps me and it helps him, as well.
As you can see from these photos, Charley is always on the move & Oklahoma is WINDY (insert eye roll!). Sometimes it really aggravates me. But, it is what it is! I’m so thankful to my friend Tasha from Health Full Time for snapping these photos! One of the unexpected perks of blogging has been being in more pictures with Charley. I felt like I was always behind the lens, taking the pictures, but now because of what I do, I’m actually IN some of the pictures!
I’m curious about what your thoughts are. How do you approach screen time with your babies?
Don’t forget to check out these lovelies and what they had to say about this hot topic!
Hannah Renee hannahreneeblog.com // Kacie Ellis elementsofellis.com // Amber Hill amberlately.com // Tanya Taylor hislittlelady.com// Carla Thompson curiousnatalia.com // Kymberly Janelle lifewithkymberlyjanelle.com // Stephanie Pollock koleimpressions.com // Camille Burley theburleytribe.com