We NEVER let the kids get in on our tablets, or more than one episode on TV per week, or the computer (even though my son's first grade teacher at school encourages my son to do about 45 minutes on two different programs once a week. I just won't. He's six.).
They sneak our tablets and cell phones ALL THE FREAKING TIME. Pisses me off. I catch them watching netflix on the tablet like, every day. Or playing a game on my/DH's phone. They don't have any age-appropriate electronics- like a Nintendo DS, or a V-tech or a Leap Frog. No. There is no "age appropriate" screen I am comfortable with. They can learn letters from a workbook, and anything else from me, or school.
My kids are 6, 5 and 3. I see mom's all the time talking about how they use video games and computer time as discipline- or encouragement to be better behaved, or allow them to play for a period of time after the important things are done.
I let my boys play mario kart on the Wii the other day. I had TONS of school stuff and cleaning and organizing to do, and I thought- okay a few hours, so I can focus without them fighting.
When it was time to stop for meals, for potty breaks, for ANYTHING... they screamed, threw tantrums, acted like fools and threw me a nasty attitude. Um, no. Where are my kids?! What happened to order and sanity?!
Then, I told them to bundle up and head outside. They literally SAT THERE for 30 minutes. They had no idea what to do. The day before, they spent the whole day imagining things, playing super heroes, jumping off ledges and chasing each other with the dogs. Today... nothing. They had like ZERO capacity for imaginative play.
And yes, I blame electronics. When more creative minds create a system that does the imagining FOR them, they'd rather sit in that little world, content to let someone else do the work, and be entertained.
Sorry... not my kids. I'm so mad at myself for letting them play as long as I did. And now the Tablets are going up high every time DH and I are not using them, my cell is staying ON MY PERSONS and the computer screen will be LOCKED when not in use. TV requires permission from BOTH parents, no movies, no TV... no way.
I refuse to have zombies with bad attitudes for children.