Your Turn Thursday: how do you balance your views on screens & tech with your spouse’s?

yes, we have two.

I am so excited to announce a new series here at The Happiest Mom: Your Turn Thursdays.

Why?

  • Because I believe all moms are experts on raising kids and finding more satisfaction in motherhood
  • Because I have amazing readers and commenters and welcome the opportunity to highlight all your wisdom and advice, and
  • Okay, because sometimes I need help. No shame in that.

What does this mean for you?I’m going to be posing a question to The Happiest Mom community every Thursday, and opening it up to responses from you. PLEASE go into AS MUCH DETAIL AS YOU WANT in the comments…heck, write a veritable blog post, even a novel there if you want; you guys are smart, I know you have great stuff to share.

Periodically I’ll be collecting some of the best responses for upcoming posts, so if you want me to include your blog address, Twitter handle or any other relevant information should your response be picked, please include those in the comment!

Okay: so here’s my question for this week.

My husband and I have vastly different views on screen time for kids.

As in: he’s purchased almost every screen, game console, and tablet out there. As soon as they come out, preferably.

I would probably have been content with my old used laptop and no TV indefinitely.

But, his career is in tech. He’s curious about new applications and toys, and figures out ways to make them useful in our daily life. I’m more of a “adopt when I gotta (and not a moment before)” type who only accepts new social networks or gadgets when I can see a measurable impact on my life.

That said, I know there have been times that I’ve been overly dismissive of a new app or phone for no good reason except I’m not really that interested. And I’ve downplayed some of the benefits of having our kids engaged with technology because….well, maybe because I’m clinging to a bit of a writerly Luddite self-perception, like the keynoter at a recent writer’s conference who proudly announced that he composes all of his novels on a vintage typewriter. (After I rolled my eyes for a while, I realized I could easily BE that guy in 20 years when I refuse to blast a hologram of myself into a business meeting, so I stopped.)

Which would be silly, right? After all, I’ve been online since 1995 and the internet has been a part of my daily life since 1997, when I had my first baby and realized…holy oh no, I need to find some other moms. And find them I did, via forums and ICQ groups and later, blogs.

Since that day, whether I want to admit it or not? Screens, and technology and gadgets and applications have been a major part of my life.

So I guess I’m having a hard time figuring out how to make them fit in my kids’ lives, and how to balance my knee-jerk “go outside and play, whydontcha!?!?!” bellowing with the fact that my husband likes to buy the kids the newest video game the moment it comes out and plays something with them called League of Legends which just sounds like a bunch of hokey crap to me, but what do I know…to be honest, I haven’t given it a real chance because I’m too busy rolling my eyes.

My question to you, readers: if you also have a techy partner, how do you balance your desire for your kids to have a natural, simple childhood with your significant other’s equally-valid argument that, hey, this IS the world we live in, and maybe our definition of “natural” and “simple” needs to shift a bit?

This kind of stuff has the potential to greatly affect the way we experience motherhood. I know that I want to feel like my values and opinions are reflected in the way my children grow up and when I feel like those things are out of balance, I wonder if I’m doing my job well enough. But, well…it’s possible I’m not always right. Or that I’m even, sometimes, a tiny bit hypocritical. (shhhh!) And that the world has simply changed since I was a child; not necessarily for the worse, just for the different.

So? Your turn. How do you deal with the issue of screen time, video games and children…especially if your spouse or partner has a different outlook on the topic than you do?

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