WELCOME to week one of Hey Mumma, where we peel back the covers on technology.
Check out the episode for our mummas opinions on screen time and rules around technology and devices.
Here's a few questions we asked them on the side:
How often do you let your children engage with ipads, phones, computers etc, and why is this?
DEE: As my son is in high school now, they are exposed to more screens in school time, however at home we allow screens in the morning only after they have completed their chores and helped out each another to be up to date. If they get their jobs done quickly, they have more time. We turn our wifi off at night and it is only turned back on in the morning after they are complete. After school they are allowed some down time on their screens limited to 1 -1.5hrs and after dinner there are no screens at all, including for us adults, unless it is for work or homework. Weekends and school holidays they are allowed more time, but it must be balanced with time outdoors. We choose to do this because I believe today's children are lacking interpersonal social skills, in fact some children are totally socially inept!
Do you believe technology advances the cognitive learning processes in children? How/why/why not?
MEL: I have no idea! I'd like to say that I love where the future is heading regarding technology but I'm also scared of where it's heading. It's a subject where I've buried my head in the sand to be honest in the hope that we can fumble our way through it when and if needed.
Do you have any fears with children and technology? (eg: decreasing social activity? Etc)
GISELA: My fears with technology (including television) are that I'm afraid it will dilute my kids' creativity, i.e not know how to use their imagination during play in their early years, or minimize creativity in their writing or thinking in their school aged years. Also, I fear it will make them more aggressive because instead of going outside to play, ride bikes, or jump on the trampoline, they'd rather sit and play the iPad and not burn any energy.
At what age did you introduce your children to technology and why? What forms of technology were they?
KATIE: Cameras and games were introduced at about Grade 2. Mostly to encourage a basic understanding of what's what. When questions were asked I'd introduce Google. At this age I set up an email address for both kids. Social internet was introduced at about Grade 5. Kids need to know and understand what the dangers are with open internet. I have full access to all accounts including passwords to everything. No full names are to be used. All settings on all devices are in safe-mode. I always spoke about unsafe conversations. No adding people you don't know. Snapchat is banned in our house.
What's an interesting/funny/quirky experience you have had with technology and your children?
SUSIE: Over the holidays my kids were away and I started thinking to myself that they use their devices too much. I decided to hide my son's iPod and my daughter's iPad so that when they got home they wouldn't jump straight back onto them (it's actually really hard to say 'no' all the time). Only problem is, I can remember where I hid Bill's iPod, but for the life of me I can't remember where I put Alix's iPad! The last thing I remember was thinking, wow, this is a really good hiding spot - it's going to be hard to remember where I put it….Yes impossible! I have turned the house upside down looking for it. The upside is - less screen time for my daughter!!!!