By Magda Aguirre
We are all entitled to our own opinion but, as a mother, I think that opinions come around a little more than usual. Whether it is some advice about what you are feeding your kids, or how they are being raised, those seem to be the most common.
As a mother, I do not mind listening to advice or opinions, what I think is not OK is to tell someone what should be done with their kids.
I once was asked why I do not allow my kids to have screen time, either on the phone or a tablet. So, this got me thinking when is it OK to introduce kids to an electronic device?
There was a time when I was OK with just handing my phone over to my kids whenever they wanted. The problem began when it was time to put it away. They would throw tantrums. They would refuse to put it away. A few times it happened, I would let it slide; however, once I noticed it happened every single time, I put my foot down and said, “No more phone.”
It was hard at first because, let’s face it, no one wants to deal with a screaming toddler. It did get easier once I had them break that habit. Now don’t get me wrong, to each their own, but when it comes to my kids, I just tell them to go play instead.
I think back whenever I was a kid and how my siblings and I spent our days playing. I strongly believe kids should be active instead of sitting down behind a screen.
My husband at first felt I was being dramatic and that I should just let them be on the phone. But then he started seeing how they were acting when they were not getting their way. I would tell my husband that we are the parents. We tell them yes or no, not the other way around.
The American Academy of Pediatrics mentions that kids between the ages of 8 and 12 spend about five hours a day of screen time and eight and a half hours for teens.
My kids are older now and they have started asking if they can get on the phone or tablet. Do I allow them now? Yes, I do. My kids know now that when I tell them to put it up, it goes away and no tantrums this time around.
Do I think there should be an age limit as to when kids should be allowed to be introduced to a phone and or ipad or tablet? Yes, I do. I’m a believer in all things in due time.