I use to think that letting Palmer have screen time was a big parenting fail. As a child and growing up, we didn't have iPads, laptop computers, iPhones, or PVR to watch the same show over and over and over. 25 years ago, there just wasn't such a thing.
I use to feel bad about it, but then I realized some things.
1. I realized that we are living in a world full of technology. Everything around us is more advanced than it was when I was growing up. This is just the world we live in now. Palmer will be exposed to technology, whether its at home, school, etc. It is a part of growing up in the 2010's. We should embrace it as a part of reality
2. I realized there are a lot of educational apps and games for Palmer to be playing and most of the TV shows she watches have a learning component to them. Palmer knows exactly which apps are hers. I don't even feel a little bit bad that she knows how to use the iPad so well. Probably 90% of the apps she has on there are educational and foster some type of learning. Her two favorite shows are Bubble Guppies and Sesame Street. I find both of these shows to be great for helping Palmer learn new things.
3. I realized that it allows for independent play and learning. Allowing Palmer to play around on the iPad gives her a sense of independence, choosing what activities she wants to play, which videos to watch. Like I mentioned, she know exactly what apps are hers to click on, and for the most part, only uses those ones.
4. I realized it gives everyone some much needed down-time. We don't always need to be go-go-go, playing and doing things. It is okay to have moments of not entertaining your child. It is okay to have moments of independent play. It is okay to have moments of screen time. As long as it is a good balance mixed in among everything else, I really have no regrets about it.
It is not being a lazy parents or keeping our child cooped up inside. We play outside when the weather permits. We read books and play puzzles and do gymnastics and swimming. But among all those things, yes, we integrate technology. We allow for screen time. It is a part of reality now, and we might as well embrace it and use it to our advantage.