My passion for helping parents manage their children’s screen time comes from my own parenting journey.
I realised that I was exposing my own three preschoolers to too much screen time, so I cut it right back. It was about two hours a day and we reduced it to only about two hours a week. They were aged four, two and a half, and six months. Crikey!
I was a full time SAHM and the detox process was hard but worthwhile. I felt very alone and unsupported during that time, and so I thought that more families would benefit from support to go through the process.
Are you aware that the New Zealand Government recommends a maximum of one hour of daily screen time for preschoolers? Yet 82% of four year olds in our country watch more than that.
It is because of this statistic, and the benefits that can come when you do use less screens that I want to support parents in cutting back their children’s daily screen time.
It’s not about piling more parental guilt onto the situation.
It’s not about going completely “screen-free” (unless you want to).
It’s about acknowledging that it’s hard to make change by ourselves sometimes.
It’s about admitting that this can be a problem, and that it’s OK to seek help.
My aim is for:
all preschoolers in New Zealand to be watching within the recommended guidelines or less (1hr a day for under fives, none for under twos).
And we will achieve this together by:
ensuring parents are making informed, educated decisions about children’s screen time.
ensuring parents feel supported and empowered to make meaningful change in their children’s lives.
The nitty gritty ‘About Me’
I am a NZ Registered Occupational Therapist, who has additional training in behavioural change, child development, and play.
I have previous work experience of working alongside clients to implement change (in the field of community mental health).
In my role as a stay at home Mum I devoted hours of volunteer work to my local Toy Library and Playcentre; both organisations that allowed me to contribute to my community, use my skills and knowledge as an OT, and help children be involved in the occupation of PLAY.
My Quals (‘the fine print’):
Bachelor of Occupational Therapy (Merit) (2010)
Post Grad. Cert. Mental Health and Addictions (2011)
NZ Cert. in Early Childhood Education and Care (in progress)
I work with families to enable happy confident and clever kids through play, routine, and setting up the home environment.
Occupational Therapists’ areas of expertise are:
- The occupation of play
play is the main occupation that children should be spending their time in. It’s how they learn, develop, and self-regulate. If something is a barrier to their play (e.g. too much screen time, the play-space set up) I can help you work out what that is and provide recommendations to overcome it.
- Lifestyle change
Change can be hard, and is a process to work through. Reducing screen time (to enable play time!) is a major lifestyle change for your family and I can help by coaching you through it. We all need a cheerleader!
- Activity and environmental analysis
Occupational Therapists have unique training for they way we view activities and the home environment and how these things affect daily life. Your children’s play-space is their workplace, and are they able to perform their ‘work’ in the best way possible?
- Person centred practice
Occupational Therapists put YOU and YOUR family at the heart of what we advise. Your family’s screen and play goals are unique and tailored to your own situation. It’s about making changes that fits your family well!