Sometimes we need to look at things differently.
I have to admit, that as free as we are with what our kids do, we still have niggly feelings about screen time. And actually, these days, it’s not so much about screen time, it’s more about having balance. They can have as much time as they like on their screens, as long as it is balanced out with other (generally physical) activities.
We do this because we believe it is important for their health. And their health is a priority.
Today something that my xbox loving 4 year old said today kind of stuck with me. He wanted to chill out watching some Rayman Legend videos on YouTube. Now, often we can dismiss this as lazy screen time. However in this scenario he specifically said – ‘I really want to learn some cool Rayman Legend tricks.’ And then as he was watching it he pointed out a few ‘cool things’ that the player on the video was doing.
We can debate whether the skills he is learning are useful or not in the real world. But I’m looking beyond that. He has this desire and motivation to learn and improve himself. He also personally takes the actions that are within his reach to do the stuff he thinks will help him get there.
In this scenario, part of it is actually playing the game. Another part is YouTube videos. Perhaps the biggest part is learning from his big brothers.
We can go even deeper and see what happens outside of this. How gaming generally is motivating him to read. Be artistic. And be playful (re-enacting the games) in real life.
All too often we fail to see or support the bigger picture. Some of this happens on its own. However, there is guidance from us to ensure the bigger picture is nurtured and balanced.
And the beauty of unschooling is that we allow this to flow and find those opportunities to support him in a non-forceful and natural way.