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Screen Time Solved

screentimewebScreen time is hard. And I say that as someone who is staunchly anti-screen time for kids. I believe children should be exposed to as little television as possible, and they should engage in more active play. But at the same time, I’m on my smartphone whenever my son settles in for a long nursing session. And what has he learned from that? He knows the phone is interesting, and if Mommy wants to look at it, then he probably wants to see it too. So he grabs the phone from me a lot. He hasn’t figured out how to undo the lock screen or use it yet, but still. I feel like I’ve been a bad influence.

So, will I use my phone less? I don’t know. I use it for 99.9% of my computer-ing, and a lot of that involves promoting Mom Comic, researching whatever problem du jour the boy is having and, let’s face it, a lot of Facebook. Maybe I’ll try to cut down on my phone use, but I’ll save it for when he can get past the lock screen.

About carrtoons@gmail.com

Chelsea Carr has been cartooning for over ten years. Currently, she works as the editorial cartoonist for Harford County’s The Aegis and The Record. She has also had her work included in MAD Magazine, b, and Baltimore’s City Paper. Chelsea holds a B.F.A. from the Maryland Institute, College of Art (2005) and an M.A.T. from Johns Hopkins University (2011.) In addition to cartooning and being a first-time mother, she has worked as an elementary school art teacher.

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One comment

  1. Just like anything else, its not a matter of what type of screen time your children have, but the quality of that screen time. The only credible research I’ve seen regarding a negative use of “screen time” is how it can affect circadian rhythms, and make it harder to fall asleep if you have a significant quantity of screen time prior to bed. Obviously, as an educator, you can conceivably understand what developmental milestones your child is reaching towards and help direct them in that direction with the screen time you allow.

    Cell Phones with touch screens, for example, are a great way to help your child build fine motor skills. Especially if you pull up an app that lets you draw.

    TV I don’t think is bad necessarily – though it shouldn’t be a replacement for personal communication between you and you child (they don’t develop language skills as well by watching TV compared to actually talking with you), though I hate anything with commercials for my kids (and for myself, actually). But the content on any TV you let your kids watch – you should know about before you let them watch it. Which will certainly preclude your kid from watching a lot of inane shows (if you can’t sit through it ahead of time, then they can’t watch it :-D)

    Even letting my 3 year old have access to nearly as much screen time as he would like – he still prefers direct communication with me and my wife, and prefers to be outside playing. And we let him do that as much as he wants 😀

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