Tired of being told how bad a parent you are for letting your child watch iPad or any other screen for that matter? I am. To be honest I think it’s down right obtuse to expect us to withhold our little sponges from the technology that will dominate their lives. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t agree to the use of a digital nanny, everything within moderation, of course. But that condescending expression – you know the look, raised eyebrows as they clutch their pearls – from some self-righteous types when you say that you happily allow your kids to enjoy a few hours of Kids YouTube or games per week makes my blood boil. Tech will be integral in the future of our children and what better time than the early years to establish a strong understanding of this powerful tool, how to navigate it, code it and control it, and the hazards it holds. Thing is, as a parent one will need to explain and discuss the matter of technology as a tool, its uses and dangers of being online – but that requires talking to your children, not mollycoddling.
“…you know the look, raised eyebrows as they clutch their pearls”
Okay, mini rant over because I have found the kryptonite to the higher than now parents bemoaning any use of technology. We have set in place a “You train, you gain” program in our household and it simply works like this; 20 mins workout earns 1 hour of screen time, and that’s it. This has worked a treat, the more time my kids want to spend on a screen the more they need to move and train. My eldest loves his iPad time and has, as a result, toned up very nicely working on smashing his pull-ups now – quite a feat for any 9 year old – and can run a mile in a respectable 7 mins.
He – my eldest – loves and excels at maths and engineering so exposure to tech and the workings thereof is a no brainer, using this as an incentive to move more and move with purpose has greatly increased his fitness, mood and performance. The payoff is also exponential, the fitter the kids become the more time they can put in with training and the more screen time they can acquire. I also try and encourage my kids to train outside and barefoot, you’d be amazed to learn how much we learn and develop through the nerve endings in our feet!
We use Freeletics, it times training sessions and is fun for the whole family – yes, mum and dad, evvveryone! #fitfamily
There’s also significant benefits from moderate-intensity physical exercise for, well, everyone. According to several studies done in the field of neuroscience we now know that cardiovascular exercises lasting 20 mins or more actually triggers neurogenesis – it grows our hippocampus! The part of the brain vital for memory and memory storage grows as we exercise so it’s – forgive the pun – a no brainer. Then there is the development of motor-skills which helps with pencil grip which reduces strain and improves posture; sitting with good posture and smiling actually cools your brain down and puts you onto a better mood(!)
So that’s our solution to the self righteous smirks and raised eyebrows when it comes to our children and their screen time.
How do you see it?
What solution have you come up with to get your kids moving more but at the same time get sufficient exposure to technology that will be deeply integrated in their lives?