Recently, I attended Zoomoo’s Big Day Out with these beautiful mums, Aishah Sinclair, Dr. Shen-Li Lee, and Catherine Nebauer, General Manager, ZooMoo Networks for Australasia. We talked about how to find balance in the use of digital devices with our children. We all now live in the era of digital parenting. Personally, it is not even easy for me to unplug from the screen. I face multiple screens all day from the moment I open my eyes till I go to sleep. My kids started using the iPad from a very young age too. Some things that I do to balance it out are:
- Take them out more – Go to the playground for example. I don’t believe kids still want to play on the iPad when they have other better things to do whether outdoors or indoors like in the Parenthood Playground, Sunway Pyramid.
- Don’t install addictive games – Although a passing fad, there was one very addictive game that I promptly deleted and never let my kids try. I only install educational games on the iPad and I guess my kids won’t want to play all day on them.
- Limit the use – I don’t leave my iPad lying around for them to ask for it all the time. Even if they get to use it, I make sure I limit the time they are on it so it doesn’t get overboard.
- Buy them books – my kids are now bookworms, so they spend more time reading than playing any devices. Books are so much more interesting anyways, don’t you think!
What do our expert mums think though? “Parents need to be the gatekeepers for their child’s time and activities spent on screens. Similar to any other activity such as play time, kids do not know when to stop and are likely to be upset when they are told to. It is about understanding your child and what works for them,” Dr. Shen-Li Lee, parenting expert and author of Brainchild stated. She also said that there are so far no conclusive research to show the positive or negative impact of using too much technology growing up. This is because it is really such a new thing in our lives. I didn’t even have a mobile phone when I was in university. That said, moderation is key when it comes to consuming digital media.
What does Aishah think? “Screen time is not necessarily a bad thing as it can be used as an educational tool or part of bonding time. My girls and I enjoy watching ZooMoo and learning about the animals together,” said Aishah Sinclair, celebrity mom of two, radio DJ and ZooMoo brand ambassador. Aishah gave a great advise about how we should be role models. I believe this is true in all things we try to teach our kids. If the kids see us using our phones all the time, that is also what they will do. They are our little imitators. Should we set the rule of no phones at the dinner table, we should not be using it ourselves too.
Catherine initially joked that children should watch as much TV as possible especially Zoomoo! “As a channel that believes in the power of technology, we embrace it and encourage children to be exposed to it from a young age. It is not something that can be avoided as a child grows up and conditioning them in the proper use of technology early would be beneficial,” she said. I love Zoomoo on Astro though. It is very wholesome and educational and it’s all about animals. They write their content with collaborations with experts. Some of the programming is really funny even for adults.
The Parenthood Playground is a great place for both parents and kids. We can let the kids climb and use up their energy while we shop for children things right next door. I love this 2 in 1 planning, it really is thoughtful.
For more information about ZooMoo, please visit the official website at http://www.zoomoo.tv.