Why on earth do kids get to have all the fun? Seriously, have you ever stared at the mound of toys and books in the play area and wished you’d had them as a kid…and also that you were allowed/had time to play with them now? Well, there’s good news for the big kids who covet what little kids have- you get to, no, you need to share screen time with them. It’ll do you both a lot of good. Here’s why:
- Okay, screen time is fun. There’s a reason why kids don’t want to turn their devices off when time is up. At any age, it’s okay to want to play. Learners big and small pick things up while they’re having fun, and there’s no reason to be embarrassed if your kids’ games and apps are appealing. It’s not like your kid doesn’t notice when you stare over their shoulder and giggle.
- Playing together can be a bonding experience. Your kid will think you’re cool (or maybe just a little less uncool), and you’ll get to relax together. Searching for material that you both enjoy can, in itself, be a fun project.
- If you’re playing with educational material (and we hope you are), you can model what an effective learner does. You can demonstrate that devices are not ends in themselves, but rather tools for inquiry and exploration. Chances are, you’ll learn things you didn’t know, and that’s an important thing to demonstrate to your kids too.
- You can make sure the materials your kids are using are age-appropriate, useful, and enriching. You’ll also get a better handle on what your kid actually likes and responds to, so you can more effectively research future material.
So jump in, already! Play along with your kid, and make shared screen time a learning opportunity, and a chance to spend quality time together.