Just read about a fascinating bit of parenting discussion at SXSW on raising digital natives, that is, kids who grow up online and using mobile technology. Now, I'm not sure my kid would be ready for a Twitter account at age 7, as mentioned in the piece. But one angle of the discussion, about how TV watching fits in, rang true in Citizen Mom's house:
The main point of disagreement amongst the group arose over the issue of limiting TV time. Bracken, for instance, will not let his daughter watch TV, but has no problem showing her streaming Netflix shows on his iPad. Sinker agreed, noting the unlike regular TV, streaming media contains little or no commercials for unhealthy foods or products parents might find to be objectionable. Some in the audience did not agree with this explanation, however, and called Bracken's approach hypocritical. (InnovationNews Daily, via @NatashaChart)
To me there's nothing hypocritical about this, in fact, controlling what visual media kids consume is as important as controlling how much is watched and on what device. This is why as a parent I've always loved On Demand kids programming so much -- it isn't just being able to cue up Phineas and Ferb whenever and wherever, it's being able to do so in a way that avoids the commercials for Totino's Pizza Rolls and Fuzzoodles. It's about monitoring quality, sometimes more than quantity.
I'm convinced that we avoided turning Jack into one of those kids who demands a new toy every time he's in the store by keeping him away from TV commercials for as long as possible. Now, at age 9, he not only prefers watching TV programming online or on demand, but the very idea of having to show up in front of the TV at a certain time to watch a certain show is alien. It's just not the way his world works.