Amy is the head of news for the Bay of Plenty Times.

Editorial: Everything in moderation

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Kids watching TV, in moderation, is not a problem.
Kids watching TV, in moderation, is not a problem.

Everything in moderation.

It's a common saying but I think we lose sight of the wisdom in those words too often these days.

In today's Bay of Plenty Times Weekend reporter Juliet Rowan delves into the world of technology and how much screen time we should be allowing kids.

She, like many other parents, admits to being fearful of the damage too much time spent in front of screens is doing to her children.

To an extent, I agree.

That is where the old adage, everything in moderation, comes in.

Parents do need to make sure their kids run around outside and play without any modern technology.

We know children need exercise to keep them healthy, we encourage them to use their imagination to find ways to entertain themselves and we want them to spend time playing with friends and family so they develop communication and social skills.

Parents also need to make sure they read to their kids and encourage their youngsters to spend time reading on their own.

All that said, there are many advantages of technology and, in my opinion, little reason to fear that it will stunt children's development.

In today's Inside Story Tauranga teachers say computer, tablets and smart phones are do not seem to be damaging children's development and can actually be beneficial to children's learning rather than detrimental to it.

Often now you hear of the dangers of screens and technology and of those families who shun them entirely.

In my opinion, that is taking things too far.

I see no problem with kids watching TV or playing computer games - in moderation.
Deborah Crowe, an engineer, tech entrepreneur, business adviser and mother of one, suggests a sensible solution. She tells her son that if he wants 20 minutes on the iPad, he needs to go and jump on the trampoline or kick a ball for the same amount of time.

To me, the real danger of technology is the easy accessibility of X-rated material and the pressures young people face through their peers on social media.

Unfortunately there is no easy way to deal with that and it seems the best solution is to start having conversations about those things with your kids from a young age and keep a close eye on what they are watching and playing.

Technology is not the only area where "everything in moderation" seems to have gone out the window these days.

Columnist Eva Bradley this week wrote about the "evil" that is sugar.

She admits to having an over-the-top fear of sugary drinks, especially when her son is involved.

Yes, downing large quantities of Coke on a daily basis is a recipe for obesity and diabetes but many of us have grown up to be healthy adults without our parents banning sugar altogether.

As with Juliet and technology, Eva concedes there is no harm in a small glass of freshly squeezed orange juice every now and then.

It seems the overwhelming amount of information available at out finger-tips now is making us paranoid.

Gluten-free, dairy-free or paleo diets are being touted as the most healthy ways to live but people forget out grandparents (many of whom lived into their 90s or beyond) lived on milk and bread and were not opposed to a sugary, processed treat on occasion.

Then there's Crossfit and the obsession that seems to create to become stronger and stronger, pushing people to push past the point of being physically sick.

Yes, exercise is important but it does not need to take over your life.

In my opinion we need to stop living in fear of the little things and focus on what's really important.

Hold tight to your family, your friendships and your beliefs. Don't compromise on them but as for everything else, remember, everything in moderation.

- Bay of Plenty Times

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