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Kids & Screen Time

Kids & Screen Time What do you think?

My son asked me when he’d be getting a mobile phone.

I didn’t think I’d heard correctly so responded with a raised eyebrow “sorry honey, what did you say?”
“When will I be getting a mobile phone?”
And I replied with
“When you’re old enough to get a job and pay for it yourself”
“Ok” he said and went outside to practice his cricket bowling agaInst the garage wall.

Ummmmmm…my son is my oldest kid and is only 9 (ok, nearly 10) years of age.

Nearly 10.

What the fuck does he need a mobile phone for? Just in case he needs to call an Uber or swipe left or right for a suitable 9 year old girlfriend who’s into sport and loves puppies? To find out what some nasty little dickburger has written about him just to be a mean little shit?

I don’t fucking think so.

To be honest, I think he just felt obliged to ask as he’s hearing other people are buying their kids mobiles. I just read that 20% of 10 year old kids in Australia have mobile phones and this number skyrockets to 75% of 12 year olds.

75%. WTAF?

Am I missing something here? Am I being a tightwad hippy, fun hating, nerd reducing, dick-twaddle of a parent by thinking it’s completely un-fucking-necessary for kids to have a mobile? Am I in fact turning into one of those judgie mcjudgies that I can’t stand? It’s a definite possibility I guess.

A few years ago my husband (and read the whole statement before you freak out) said:
“You have to treat our kids like you would a farm dog, keep ’em busy, feed them, run them all day and put them to bed” To be honest, I was mortified at him for saying this until he went on to explain “kids are supposed to be busy…they wake up every day looking for things to do – if we don’t exhaust them by getting them outside, taking them fishing, kicking balls, swimming, camping, throwing rocks etc…what will they do? Sit open-mouthed in front of the tv? It’s no life for a kid sitting inside. It’s our job to get ’em out there and get them amongst it. They’ll keep out of trouble that way and be way too exhausted to be little shits”

Idle hands and all that stuff.

Please don’t get me wrong, we, of course, let our kids watch tv and we’ve been guilty of letting it keep them busy so we can have some parent time. My parents did the same (Mr Squiggle was my creepy idol) so we could all have the luxury of uninterrupted conversations, a minute to think or just some time for ourselves.

Jesus, I can still sing pretty much every The Wiggles song ( the original members only, I’m a purist) and don’t even get me started on my love of Thomas the Tank Engine. Nowadays my favourites are those twin slightly sexy nerdy Doctors Dr Chris & Dr Xand on Operation Ouch (it’s amazing how much snot we generate in our lifetime – who knew!) and Deadly 60 with the fabulous Steve with his excitement about all things that could kill you. So yeah… I’m guilty as hell too of screen time for my kids and for this middle aged Mumma

I worry sometimes that it’s a losing battle, especially when we have to buy Master 9 an IPad for school this year. We’ll try incredibly hard to be super strict and make it for school use only…all the while trying to continue the whole treat them like farm dogs philosophy.

So, for now, we’ll just make them wait a while longer before we start giving them access to their own screen time – like when they get out of the frigging monastery/convent when they turn 45.

I think I prefer a kid covered in dirt than one with a slack jaw and glazed eyes.

Just remember, before he died, Apple co-founder Steve Jobs wonderfully answered a question from a reporter who asked him ‘What do your children think about the new iPad?’

His answer?

“they wouldn’t know” because they’re banned in his house

Makes you think huh?

What are your thoughts?

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