Good or bad parenting?
Our son has spent 1.8% of his life hours to date playing Terraria (probably 15% of his life overall on gaming and programming). How do I know 1.8%? Because he calculated it and told me. The 15% overall is a pretty educated guess by me.
And he also just got hired to be a programming tutor and is loving doing that — he’s 11 and is tutoring a 9-year old (who is learning very quickly). That happened as a result of him releasing his first public game and a fellow Austinite taking notice. I asked our son what he wanted to charge for his first tutoring job and he said $5/hr — they insisted on paying him $10/hr. Pretty good money at age 11!
An old classic to consider before you pass judgment:
How much time do you allow your child to practice their passion? My mom gave me unlimited time programming and I programmed over 40 hours per week from ages 7–21. I know that is odd and led to some issues in school (e.g., getting picked on), but it has worked out quite well. My blog, Lucky7, is named as a tribute to her. All of the forces around me, with the notable exception of my mom, were trying to tell me I was doing life wrong. Instead, life has turned out really well for me — and I’m still living my passion today as both the CEO of data.world and investor out of our family office, Hurt Family Investments.
I’m not saying turn off your parenting brain, or stop guiding your children, I’m just saying that limiting their screen time may not be the best path, and you may want to read that book. It depends on the child and how they gravitate to use their time. For example, there are real issues if they get sucked into the bad side of YouTube (listen to the “Rabbit Hole” podcast series as an example).
My mom’s genius is that she realized that I was both spending my time well and gave me an unlimited amount of time to really live my passion. She was also a genius at realizing that my father had done the same (he was a great inventor of physical-world products). I try to model the same with our children and also in supporting my wife.