I admit it. My daughter is on my smartphone right now.
I don’t let her constantly stream videos or play games, but there are a few times throughout the week that I let her grab my Google Pixel and embrace technology.
Why? Well, it’s 2018, and our kids are growing up with technology. Rather than run away from it, I am going to try to let her experience it properly and safely. Here’s a few reasons you might want to let your child use your phone.
1. Take some pictures of you. When I go through my endless array of photos, there are very few of me. I don’t mind, but when I leave this earth or when my daughter is on her own, she might want to see some pictures of her mom in her younger(ish) years. When I let my kid have the phone, she takes pictures of me and, well, selfies of us together. She’s not a bad photographer, either.
2. Let them learn. The wide assortment of educational apps are no replacement for a teacher or one-on-one parental help, but she has experienced handwriting help, interactive eBooks and instructional videos on everything from art techniques to playing guitar. Just because I couldn’t learn how to bake a cake from YouTube doesn’t mean I can’t let her try!
3. Dial that number. When your kid wants to call their aunt, uncle, grandma, grandpa, friend or cousin, let them. We’ve experienced a loss in our family recently, and I never regretted letting my daughter call up a family member to say “hello” or “I love you.” In fact, I should encourage her to do it more often. Texting is such a part of teenage and adult life, but hearing someone’s voice on the phone can be a powerful way to connect when you can’t always see someone in person.
I don’t think anyone would disagree that screen time should be somewhat limited for young children, but teaching our kids how to use technology responsibly and letting them use a phone or tablet to take pictures, learn and communicate can be beneficial for you and them! Embrace it!
Jen Schneider is a local middle school teacher and mom to two children.