Meet Melissa Pezza – a part-time pediatric dentist, married mother of three small children, and author of the critically acclaimed blog, “The Mommyhood Chronicles.” Melissa has been a contributor to TODAY’s Parenting Team as well as working with LeapFrog, Britax, Huggies, Playskool and many other well-known children’s brands.
As a part of Early Choices’ continued efforts to support local parents in raising happy, confident kids, we are bringing you profiles of local parents and grandparents as well as inviting guest bloggers from across the country to write about their own experiences. Our goal? To arm parents in our area with tools to become more confident in their parenting skills by addressing common challenges that today’s moms, dads and grandparents face every day. (You can read more about our Triple P Positive Parenting Program here.)
We asked Melissa to give us her advice on the ever-challenging presence of technology in our kids’ lives.
“In 2017, the rage is all about electronic devices. As a mom, I am guilty of spending more time in front of my phone than playing with my children. As a mom of three, my New Years resolution was try to limit screen time for myself, which would then result in less screen time for my little ones.
Every night my kids want to spend hours on their iPhones, iPads, or Chromebooks. I have actually seen my son fall asleep with his favorite show on, headphones still around his little ears. Since when did this become the norm in our society?!
To try to change our views towards screen time, I vowed to only go on my phone a few times a day. When I am with the kids, my focus is on them solely. No longer are the days when I am answering an email, trying to play Monopoly with them simultaneously. Now I can actually win Monopoly because I am focused on it, rather than the little zinging noises coming from my iPhone.
I have been quite successful with this, and in turn, my kids learned the value of actually interacting and playing again. They actually love the concept of just being a kid and getting outside, down and dirty playing with their friends. It is endearing to see the shift in their attitudes from putting down the phone and shutting off the TV to play. I see that they are happier and they are learning more, from the outside world, rather than from playing with the electronic device in front of them.
Realistically I don’t want to take away my kids’ devices or ban television. That is not conducive to anyone, since I need some time to do work and they love their time alone in their room with their devices. So instead we set up TV and device time that they are allowed to use them. It usually comes out to be about an hour a day. The rest of the time is spent as a family and reconnecting on those long lost times to the dreaded phone. My family is back to interacting again and I could not be happier.”
Visit Melissa’s blog, The Mommyhood Chronicles, for more informative and fun blogs.