I came across this article in the Huff Post Online earlier and I must say, she makes some salient points. (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/cris-rowan/10-reasons-why-handheld-devices-should-be-banned_b_4899218.html) I find in my own practice that children who spend too much time online or gaming (especially violent games) are seriously struggling with social skills, they can be highly reactive and inappropriately so, very physical and aggressive, and suffer terrible posture. This leads to headaches, middle back pain, and general digestive discomfort as well. And these are the under 10s!
I like the chart Cris Rowan suggests at the end, however, I would say that my two girls use my iPad for games and to watch films etc when we are travelling. We have a time limit that their father and I have agreed on. They start each day with 10 minutes. For every item on the ‘to do’ list then can gain extra minutes. Our ‘to-do’ list looks like this:
make bed +1
Eat breakfast +1
Brush teeth/hair, wash face, ready for school +1
All homework done on time +1
Special projects up to +5
And so on, up to a max of 30 minutes in a day after school each. They can however lose points for not doing the above, and for fighting (-1) or mouthing back (-5) etc. They know the list as they came up with it, they are 7 and 4 years of age. It isn’t hard, we don’t write it down, its a running list that the girls make sure we know just how many minutes they have! We don’t own a telly, and so aside from reading, playing outside, playing in their room, they are allowed to play certain games. But the games we allow them to play are fun type maths/phonics/reading books etc drawing games and the latest is minecraft. I think it is important for them to be able to keep up with their peers technologically. I want them to feel confident (even at 7!) that they can do just as well as their friends in class when using a computer program, that they are tech savvy enough to figure it out and not fear it. If there is something all the kids are into TV wise and its ok with us, they can watch it on i-player.
So I think it is a matter of making sure that time limits are instituted, and imprinting on young children that violent games are not acceptable. We know from the playground who is playing them at home by the way they react to other children and how aggressive they can be.
We also use several little gadgets to aid in reducing the EMF waves as well, which are attached to the wifi unit and to my phone and iPad. (see http://www.energydots.co.uk) because i do have real concerns about brain growth phases and the effects that radiation has on my children not just at home, but everywhere these days!
What do you do in your home?