Our 10th episode of the Parenting Talk Series is with Arcadia Kim, who is the founder of Infinite Screen Time.
With this pandemic, screen time is a major issue for most parents. As we rely on technology to help us on our daily parenting journey while at the same time fear the damage this screen time is doing to our children especially their relationship with technology. But Arcadia has another approach to help manage the relationship that she shares her advice in her interview.
As always, Little Monkey is here to provide information to help make parenting easier. This is so parents can make informed decision – whether that decision is on where to take their kids to play on the weekend by using our child-friendly directory to our project – “Parenting Talk Series” – 30 minutes recorded interview with subject experts on all things parenting uploaded to our blog for the convenience of parents to watch whenever they like.
Take a look at Infinite Screen Time’s website for worksheets you can use to help your family and child’s screen time relationship: https://infinitescreentime.com/
Here is a recap of what we spoke about and the visual aids.
- Technology is something that we cannot avoid, in fact, this interview was possible during a typhoon 8 because of technology! So, it is also something that our children will not be able to avoid in their future as well so it is best if we model the right behaviour.
- Arcadia is a mom of 3 screen time loving kids and worked as the COO of Electronic Arts (EA), which is the biggest video game company with titles like the Sims, Medal of Honor, etc.
- Thinking back on the past and her work, the world of technology is totally different than it is today and it was a moment with her kids around technology that made her come up with the idea for her company screen time.
- Technology is being view as a negative and sometimes fearful thing in our parenting world. We have been told how it is addicting and bad for our kids but never on how to really address their love of it. And it’s also because we have not grown up in the same type of technology as available today so the unknown factor plays a part in our fear of giving our children too much of it. So, the goal of Infinite Screen Time is to recast that connotation of screen time to be positive, connected, and something that can have many possibilities for our kids as we build healthy screen time habits from a very young age.
- Little Monkey agrees that we do need to help our children have a good relationship with technology as they will continue to grow with it and we as parents cannot always be there to guide them. Just like the saying goes that it is our job as parents to help children know how to think instead of what to think.
- Infinite Screen Time is a movement that is trying to dispel the negative connotation of screen time and recast it as good. Infinite Screen Time is also here to help family create positive relationships with technology. Other topics such as health or nutrition for a child, there are specific guidelines of what’s good and bad and what parents should be doing but with screen time there is no set guidelines.
- So Infinite Screen Time focus first on the values of a family as every family is different. And also, the children are all different personality and type. We love how Arcadia uses the analogy about dandelions and orchids to give us the examples so listen to her explanation on this.
- Infinite Screen Time then works with family to create the rules around screen time that works for the family. The underlying values of these rules must be clearly understood by parents before setting them including making sure that it fits the children’s personality and schedule.
- It also starts with us parents as modelling good behaviour with screen time as our children do copy us. In addition, if we view and speak of screen time as a negative and forbidden thing, then our kids will see it as such. As a result, they might hide from us while using screen time and gets into all sort of troubles online as they grow older.
- It’s also time to have the conversation with the children once they are of age to understand on what is good screen time habits and bad habits. What shows they like and why and what shows they should be watching. These are all ways that parents and kids can communicate and keep that communication open to have a better relationship.
- We then discussed about how to explain to younger children if they do not understand yet about screen time. In addition, how young can a child use screen time? Let’s face it, we have a screen in our kid’s face from babyhood as we make video calls with relatives abroad. Listen as Arcadia explains why it is okay as long as it making connectivity which is the exchange of ideas and understanding of each other that triggers a different part of the brain. In addition, we should do paralleling whenever we can with our kids while they are on screen time. This means being next to them and interacting with them about the show they are watching or the game they are playing.
- The 4 Cs of how we use technology –
- Passive Consumption – watching TV, reading, and listening to music
- Interactive Consumption – plating games and browsing the internet
- Communications/Connection – video chatting and using social media
- Content Creation – using devices to make stuff
- Scheduling screen time is important as we should have set rules around when they watch so that it does not infringe onto their daily schedule. This also helps prevent them from using crying or demanding screen time whenever they want as they start to understand the sequence of when screen time will come. In addition, we need to also schedule non-screen time where kids can be out and about playing in person.
- Location is also key in cordoning off areas at home where screen time is okay to use and not to use in line with the family values.
- So how does Infinite Screen Time work with parents? They actually have an online 6 weeks course to work with parents to help create their family Screen Time Principals and this will be open in 2022. In addition, Arcadia is available to speak in schools with kids. She has also been selected to speak at the Hong Kong TEDx TinHauWomen on December 10th.
- In addition, you can follow Infinite Screen Time on social media like Instagram and Facebook where they host live events as well.
- Cheat sheets are available for parents who have younger children on how to help them understand and have a good habit with screen time on Infinite Screen Time’s website by easily signing on. Check them out and do some of the activities with your kids! She even has a worksheet for dealing with technology when we go to bed!
Technology is definitely here to stay and it’s hard now imagining how our children will be using technology when they are older. The only way we can help them now is by creating the right value principal and to teach our kids on having a good relationship with technology. And if you need help, you now know there is a specialist in the field – Arcadia Kim from Infinite Screen Time.
And as always, we really hope these 30 minutes Parenting Help video interview is useful to you parents watching. Please stay tune for our next interview and in the meantime, check our Scarlett’s post about a local’s point of view (written in Chinese and translated to English)!
Below are the visuals we used during the interview for your information.