Screen time is not what it used to be. The digital devices our kids are using today may frustrate us, annoy us, or even scare us, but with some active and mindful parenting strategies, these devices can be used in a positive way. Though I’m a realist about the dangers that exist in the digital world, I also see unprecedented opportunities for our kids to create and learn and grow into thoughtful digital leaders.
Let’s look at a few different ways to change our perspective from fear to opportunity.
From Consumption to Creation
When we lump everything into simple “screen time,” we fail to make a crucial distinction between creativity and consumption. Is your kid sprawled out in front of the TV or bingeing on her favorite YouTuber? Or is she live-tweeting the presidential debate, composing a song using GarageBand, or building a hobby website?
If kids are using their screen time for creativity instead of idle consumption, that makes you think differently about imposing limits, doesn’t it? Assess what they are doing and what value it might bring. It might not be passive “zombie time,” but learning and stretching their imaginations instead. If your kid is composing a song or creating an ebook or producing a podcast, you may still urge her to do homework or power down to get some sleep, but you might feel more positively about their screen time.