Why Technology & Screen Time is Different for Military Kids
As parents, we have all seen the comments, the mom-shaming, the articles, the research, etc. about the issues with kids being too engaged with technology and having too much screen time. And I get it. Excessive screen time is not ideal for little ones and their developing brains. I 100% would rather my kids be outside, or playing make believe then be on screens. In our home we do our best to limit screen time, but honestly that doesn’t always happens. I have struggled with feeling guilty and like a worse mom because of this, however…
Something that was unexpected for me after our most recent move/PCS is how grateful I was for technology. Our kids developed the most amazing community of friends in Florida and saying goodbye was TOUGH. Definitely our toughest yet, as they are older now and I think understand the gravity more of moving and leaving behind people we care deeply for. When we got to our new duty station I was heart broken when the kids asked every day about going back to Florida and when they could see their friends again. You know what helped the most during this transition? SCREEN TIME.
With our Florida friends we were able to set up their kids & our kids on Facebook messenger to be able to video call and message each other. We even ended up getting our older girls iPods so they could add these friends to talk to regularly. While we bought them primarily for the friend aspect, an added bonus was the ability for them to communicate with extended family. It has been so cool to see them be able to chat & engage with aunts and grandparents independently. I think it will help them have a stronger bond with family members that they don’t get to see all that often. So many kids are lucky to live in the same town their whole lives and have easy access to lifelong friends and family members. Military kids grow up very differently, often without family support and having to say constant goodbyes for at least 18 years.
So do I love that they have their own devices and are probably spending a little more time on them now? No. But do I love that they are able to maintain connections and lessen the heartbreak of the constant moves & goodbyes that come with military life? ABSOLUTELY.