So, we homeschool with a bit of a waldorf slant. We do less TV than average. I think smart phones are fantastic.
I guarantee you that with no phones, no electronic games other than Simon and the gigantic Atari, which we were not lugging around in vehicles and restaurants, I had literally 10x the screentime that my kids do. And not good stuff either. Adult shows over my head and things too scary for me to handle. Stuff that just played in front of me, not things I could interact with or be creative with or collaborate or share with friends and family in any way.
DH and I have iPhones. The kids love them. They do plenty of interacting, especially since there's usually two of them and one of it. They take turns. They share. They decorate "cookies and cakes" on the phone and giving them to one another or emailing them to relatives. They take photos of what they see and love and send these to their relatives too. They write emails, the younger suggesting and the older typing. They draw with the drawing programs. If it's not a quiet setting, they turn on music or recordings of themselves singing and dance and sing. Math and foreign language drills, I don't love, but DD does, so okay by me!
The older one *can* sit still and entertain herself. She's done weeks worth of no media whatsoever. She watches less than most of her friends. The 3 year old is 3 and a firecracker. He doesn't sit still, but I guarantee you no different parenting involving more stuff for him to throw like crayons and tchotchkes would change that, nor would it have if I'd done it from his infancy. Still, why should they sit still w nothing to do?
My older child did this stuff with crayons and paper instead when she was 3 as I didn't have such a phone then. Know what? It was a million times more of a pain in the butt for everyone. Keep the paper dry, then we're out of paper, then the super special paper that we have to mail to grandpa got crunched and oh the horror! Lets not even start on the shape of the crayons!
Media out and about with toddlers/young kids is not the issue in heavy media consumption. It's unregulated TV and computer use in the home, usually in private and by older kids.
Edited by EviesMom - 7/12/11 at 4:59am