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May 17, 2007

Overbooking Children With Activities

I had the opportunity to talk to a writer at the Wall Street Journal to provide feedback on their article: "Helping Overbooked Kids Cut Back". I posted a discussion on this article at the Silicon Valley Moms Blog. The article discusses the debate between structured afterschool activities and free play time.

But I wonder if limited computer screen time can be considered free play time? After my 8 year old son comes home from school the 2 days a week he does not have afterschool plans, and before his homework, I let him have free time on his computer (with parental controls). I know he enjoys watching music videos of his favorite songs from his iPod. He actually seems relaxed after his computer screen time. So what is the harm? He has some down time and mom has some time to make dinner and tend to his 4 year old twin brothers.

So far, the computer time is working as one of my 8 year old son's free play time activities. And I feel fine with that, as long as he combines that with the other active free play (non screen) activities he enjoys.


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Yes, my nearly 8yo daughter is the same way about computer. I have to watch her time closely though....she would spend all her time there if I didn't kick her off from time to time.

That said, I have been thinking a lot recently about the fact that I don't remember my parents EVER kicking me off the TV or computer. I certainly watched plenty of TV, and I'd say my sister was addicted for about 4 years. She was ALWAYS watching. But we both quit watching of our own accord and are perfectly functional adults. :)

I think sometimes we just tend to worry more about these things. ??

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