We all know how precious quality time with our kids can be. Life is busy. But if you’re not careful, those special moments could be even less frequent.
Many parents worry about their children’s level of interaction with electronic devices, fearing about the effects of long-term use. But experts say parents may not be setting the best example.
Dr. Mark Nelson makes a conscious effort to limit his device time around his 10-year-old son Finn, as does his wife. But even so, Finn says he often wonders why his parents are on their devices when he’s not allowed on his, a complaint many kids share.
Eileen Satterlee, a counselor at Blue Creek Elementary School in North Colonie hears those students’ complaints.
“It’s, ‘I want my mommy to pay attention,’ or ‘I want to sit and read or do something and mommy is always on the phone,’” she says.
If you’re not careful, it can develop into a case of “do as I say, not as I do.”
‘Words are important,” says Satterlee, “But actions more so. They’ll remember what we do much more than what we say.”
Dr. Nelson, an expert on technology in education understands that electronic devices can have value for young kids.
“Certainly most kids, when they grow up, are going to be in jobs that require technology,” says Dr. Nelson.
Balance, and knowing when to put the devices away, is key.