This post is going to be a bit different from the general topic of this blog. I’m going to use it to try to work out an issue I’m currently going through.
As readers of my blog and my social media followers probably know, I’m the proud father of a 15 months old baby girl. I’m a first time parent, and I’m learning the ropes as I go, so I hope I don’t damage the poor kid too much with my inexperience.
One of the issues that are perennially debated in my home is how much screen-time is too much. My wife is solidly on the side of zero screen-time would be best.
I’m not too sure about that, but I don’t know if I’m making a huge mistake in this issue or not. To clarify things, I use my smartphone as a teaching aid.
I don’t just pluck my baby in front of a screen and relax. I actively choose educational videos about colors, animals, shapes, numbers and the alphabet.
I also always interact with her while playing the videos. I stop them to point out the shapes and objects they contain. Using this method, and some Montessori toys I bought online, I have taught her to count to ten, recite a good part of the alphabet, recognize and name some basic shapes, and identify and say the names of colors.
Given this success, I don’t consider screen-time such a bad thing. But then I read all the online articles on imposing screen-time limits and I get worried. Am I hurting my baby? Am I exposing her to too much screen-time?
To put things in perspective, we spend many hours playing on the play mat, in a ball pen, and with toys. We spend several hours running up and down a corridor chasing a ball. So we do quite a bit of physical activity per day, the media is just during down times when we need to rest a bit.
As I’ve said before, I interact with her during that time and have used it to teach her many things. But is there any harm that can m doing to by baby? Is there something that we haven’t considered that may lead to problems down the road?
For me, this is an ongoing discussion and I need to come up with a balance that safeguards my baby’s health while still allowing me to teach her new things using multimedia aides.