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Kids and screens – How much time is too much?
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Kids and screens – How much time is too much?

As a Gramma of nine, looking back on being a young Momma in the 70’s and 80’s, I am astonished by all the changes that have taken place since I was parenting.

When I was raising four little kids in Clearwater (way back when in the good ol’ days) we had two television channels, no electronics, cell phones, tablets, or computers. Back then, we had a really cool puppet club in the library located in Brookfield ‘mall’, Dutch Lake swimming lessons exactly where we took them as kids, and lots of music, outdoor sports and mandatory chores to earn allowance.

I’ll be the first to admit that now when I screw up the T.V. remote, if there is a grandchild around, they are the first I call on to ‘fix’ it for me! Aren’t kids so smart? Sometimes they roll their eyes as if to say, ‘Oh Gramma’ and sigh, but they help me out with a hug at the end and a promise from me to try not to mess up the television again. I’m biased but I think kids today are brilliant! First graders are learning coding in school and by the time little ones are pre-school they can navigate any device it seems with ease. Teens becoming incredible photographers, videographers and gamers blow my mind with their talent and creativity.

When is it too much screen time? Do you struggle to get your kids attention and noses out of those phones, computers, laptops, games, or pads? I’d really like to hear from you and how you monitor (or not) that screen time and what kind of activities seem to attract the attention of growing minds over and above a device.

Yes, I’m starting this convo, because I think it would be fascinating to hear from a variety of ages when we receive letters to the paper. Do you still encourage your children to “get outside” and if you’d like to, but the environmental issues we are experiencing, such as excessive heat waves or poor air quality due to wildfire smoke impede the outdoor experience at times, how do you address that? What is your back-up plan?

As a Gramma, we do engage in the idea of going on mini adventures and when we do our priority is to do that by putting down the devices, adults need to be accountable in that regard as well from my viewpoint. We play visual guessing games, go on nature hikes, get creative with storytelling and making little villages with rocks, sticks, seashells and whatever else we stumble upon.

We would love to hear your thoughts and ideas, concerns, and suggestions. Remember, Friday at 2 p.m. is our goal for submissions from you such as articles, letters, opinions.

Let us know how you are exploring and loving where you live in the North Thompson from Blue River to Barriere and everywhere in between. Do you have something unique to share?

Stay safe out there, walk on the sunny side.

We welcome your words with respect and interest.

Hettie Buck

Black Press, Multimedia Editor for The Clearwater Times and Barriere Star Journal

editor@clearwatertimes.com 250-674-3343

hettie.buck@starjournal.net 250-672-5611



About the Author: Hettie Buck

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