Parents and educators have been trying to decide on best practices in terms of kids and screens for decades. With the onslaught of new technology and mobile devices during the past several years, these concerns have only increased. How is the Internet changing the way kids think and behave?
It's December, and many schools are going to be closed for a few weeks as different holiday celebrations get under way. Let's face it—for parents, school holidays can pose a challenge. Those of us who work outside the home are faced with the need for prolonged child care (and all the guilt that comes from heading to the office while your kids are at home) and those of us who are going to be at home the whole time might be worried about what everyone is going to do for those hours. And for some, the time that is spent as a family can be, well, too much family time.
Long summer days can be hard to fill with constant enriching activity! And yes, while boredom is a useful learning tool, there is such a thing as enough. Many parents and guardians, especially those who have other work besides caring for children, allow more screen use in the summer than in the school season. When your seven-year-old is sitting on the couch playing Minecraft, it’s easier to make dinner, answer emails, talk on the phone to your boss or partner, and do just about anything else.
Does your kid love to stargaze? It's a great moment when kids look up and around and discover that the universe is a really huge place. It's such a huge place that it can be intimidating. Luckily, there's an app for that!
A giant cluster of stars, taken by the Hubble space telescope
Plenty of arguments about screen time are waged over breakfast tables around the world and in the media. How much is too much? Is gamification really a valuable tool? Are kids going to lose the ability to interact with other humans in meaningful ways? Does screen time contribute to the obesity epidemic?