Navigating Screen Time

I watched a lot of television as a kid. I am a child of the late 70s, early 80s which means I spent a lot of time with Mr. Rogers, Big Bird and Mickey Mouse, as well as the Saturday morning binge session of cartoons that range from Looney Tunes, Muppet Babies and He-Man (my little brother got to pick occasionally). Honestly, these television memories are fond ones. It was often time spent with my brother and the quality of (some of) these shows were golden. This was a time when parents were not being encouraged to limit screen time for their kids. Maybe children’s programming was on the tamer side back then. The television and media overload of today can’t be compared. There are more devices and screens than imaginable. With so many warnings and recommendations to limit screen time for my kids, I feel this urge to pull the plug altogether, despite my nostalgic feelings of TV watching as a child. I’ve never been one to go to the extreme of any one way of thinking about things. In my experience, drastic lifestyle changes are often an unsustainable way to live. A healthy, moderation feels much more realistic for my family. Plus, it is not true that all screen time is created equally. In my experience there are many ways to include technology/screen time in a thoughtful, useful way. So here are some of my thoughts on why and how we navigate screens in our family. … More Navigating Screen Time

Money, Money, Money, Money*

“I don’t care too much for money, money can’t buy me love.” -The Beatles

So there are those moments as a parent when you walk through a store with your kids and they spot some glorious item that is the most amazing thing they have ever ever seen and they MUST have it. And then you begin the dance of how to talk them out of it in some way. Some how you have to convince them that you are leaving the store without this most amazing item ever and it will be okay, despite the quivering lip or raised pitch to their voice. A good friend of mine once told me that for a long time, her kids actually thought that toy stores were more like toy museums, where you go to admire toys but not actually buy them and take them home. Apparently, this magical story worked until a grandparent unlocked the power of buying a toy. It was a good run while it lasted, I suppose. From some time early fall until December 25th I use the excuse “put it on your list” to deter purchasing every random want. And oh does that list grow and grow. I make many attempts to encourage him to think of things to give his loved ones rather than focusing on what he would receive. I also remind him that just because you put something on a want list doesn’t always mean you get it. … More Money, Money, Money, Money*