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"But Mom, you use your phone all the time!"

Technology has become an integral part of our daily lives, especially for children whose mother works remote and/or in web3. It is almost impossible to imagine a world without smartphones, tablets, televisions, and other gadgets really. However, with the increasing dependence on electronic devices by us and now by the children, a question that keeps arising among parents is whether these gadgets are harmful to their kids’ mental and physical well-being. This blog post will explore this topic, talk about things mentioned in the recent Twitter Space about "Parenting in Web3 - Electronics" and provide some insights that may help in making an informed decision that works for you.

The Pros of Electronics for Kids:

It is undeniable that electronics can provide educational and entertainment benefits for children. For instance, educational applications on tablets can enhance a child's cognitive and functional abilities. Furthermore, electronic games can help develop social and motor skills, problem-solving abilities, and teamwork abilities. Television can also expose children to diverse cultures, encourage imagination and excitement for learning. All of this paired with the fact that sometimes, as a working mother, you have no choice but to ask them to use a device for a few minutes while you complete a task. However, obviously these benefits should not replace other critical activities such as socializing, exercising, or reading.

The Cons of Electronics for Kids:

We also know, electronics have significant drawbacks for children, such as screen addiction, eye strain, obesity, sleep loss, anxiety, and depression. Furthermore, social media use can create feelings of inadequacy, peer pressure, and cyberbullying, affecting mental health, especially for children of school age. Thus, it is necessary to set healthy screen time limits and ensure that gadgets are appropriately. But also mama, don't sweat it if you need to give them a tablet so you can do that conference call. Just make up for it after the call is done.

Encouraging Children to Ditch the Electronics:

If parents want children to reduce their screen use or take a break, they must model the alternative behaviors actively, which I know is tough when working remote/from home. This means we can involve them in fitness activities, outdoor adventures, reading, board games, or crafting to counteract their screen times. I always talk about taking time out from work and making time for the kids, this is the perfect time to pull them away from screens and do some of those activities. We can also create no-device times or zones, such as mealtimes, before bedtime, or during family outings, OR maybe those are the only times you allow them to use them. You and only you know your situation and kid(s) best.

When you are faced with the "But Mom, you use your phone/laptop" it helps to explain to them and to be open about the type of use. Show them that is being used for work and not pleasure. Also put the devices away, as you would expect them to, when it is time.

Monitoring Children's Electronic Use:

Obviously parents must ensure that children's online activity does not endanger their safety and well-being. Setting up parental controls, having constant conversations about online etiquettes, and monitoring app usage can definitely help make the use of them more enjoyable and beneficial for all.

Kids are constantly exposed to electronics, whether it's by watching us use them or by them using the devices. Electronic gadgets can provide numerous benefits for children when used in moderation, but excessive screen time and a lack of balance can also harm them. As parents, it is vital to ensure that children's screen time is used responsibly, their online activity is monitored, and they are encouraged to engage in other activities to aid in their development. By doing so, we can create an environment where children can flourish and lead a healthy and balanced lifestyle, while their parent(s) work using devices day in and day out.

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