Many tamariki will have been spending a lot of time on devices and having more screen time than usual. Many parents may feel guilty about this, even as children transition back to school life. Although research in this area is varied we have been and are still living through exceptional times. Many psychologists agree that children are not going to be “damaged” by having too much screen time. If it’s what you and your children needed and still need to get through each day right now, then that’s okay.
You can find more information about screen time here:
Rethinking screen time
Device use for kids
Transitioning from lots of screen time to less
“The guilt I feel for the amount of screen time my kids are having is intense, but for my husband and I to continue our mahi, it’s one of the easiest options. I have worked previously in kaupapa Māori settings where I think I would probably feel a bit more relaxed about the integration of our kids in the work arena. Sometimes I am not sure if my current workplace understands the juggle as much, and the pressure from this uncertainty I find really hard. We are finding ways through it all, but I know that we are not the whānau we were before the noho rāhui/lockdown. Our kids have seen us at our worst due to the stress of balancing mahi, kura and parenting all under the same roof. On a positive note, we have had the best whānau games night, so much laughter! The kids are also doing way more housework than they ever have done previously – they are learning exactly what it takes to run a home, which are great practical lessons that will help them in the future greatly!” (Aroha – working from home mama of 2 young tamariki).
“My 15 year old son has aspergers and playing computer games is a really good way for him to calm down after a day at school, or after time he has been in a noisy or crowded situation with lots of social contact, which he can find stressful and overwhelming. I don’t like him playing violent games, but he often plays games that are creative. He can also play with other people online so he can still stay socially engaged with his friends. I notice he can seem irritable if he has too much screen time so I do try and set limits.” (Mereana – Mum of a 9 and 15 year old).