Toddlers and Technology
Earlier in the week I found myself reading and relating to this blog post over at The Young Mommy Life. Big T works in IT and so is practically glued to his laptop, I am an undiagnosed Facebook addict. I have an iPhone and face time my family almost every day. We use the Xbox to webcam with my mother in law and to watch tv and movies via amazon prime. We have a computer hooked up to the tv so that we can watch dvds and stream tv shows. You get the idea! We live in a world full of technology, and I’m pretty sure that Miss K knows how to use more of it than I do. Isa’s face lights up when my phone rings, or when the Xbox gets turned on because inevitably the big box is going to start glowing and will amuse her 6 month old self for the next 30 minutes.
This week we were having a discussion about getting Miss K a Kindle Fire so she could play games and watch her programs while we we out of the house and needed her to be kept busy (read: mama needs to eat her dinner in peace!). I started having a major battle of conscience, was I setting up my baby to fail in the future by overloading her with technology. Should I be eating dinner and engaging her in deep and meaningful conversations? One of our Twitter followers assured me that it is no different to giving a child crayons and a coloring book to keep them quiet for the duration of the meal, its just the modern day equivalent (now if Taco Mac wish to start giving out iPads instead of coloring pages then I am 100% behind them).
My biggest issue at the moment is how much tv we seem to watch all day. And I wouldn’t mind so much if it was my precious few hours of Live with Kelly and Michael, and The View, but oh no, that precious time has been taken over by Mickey Mouse clubhouse, Fireman Sam and SuperWhy. I can feel my brain slowly wilting away as I sing alone with the theme songs and talk back to the characters as if they really are interacting with me.
A small part of me dies every time I am sitting playing with Isa and Miss K hands me my phone, or brings me my laptop with a helpful “here you go mommy”, as if its an appendage, and she is so happy to reconnect us. I actually think I prefer her to use my phone to play an educational game than sit in front of the television, although at the moment she only watches programs that are teaching her at the same time.
I have started instigating a few new changes, nothing major, I wont be turning into a total luddite, but we no longer turn the television on as soon as we get up, instead Miss K plays with her toys and is perfectly content finding things to occupy her. We sing, read and do arts and crafts – THEN they can watch an hour of cartoons while I catch up on housework. After naptime and more playing they can watch some more TV in the afternoon, if it fits into our schedule. Before bed we have 30 minutes downtime in her bedroom to read books, and desensitize from the days technological experiences.
And I’m pretty sure we are still going to get her that Kindle Fire – she can use an app to color on while we eat dinner, and I don’t have to worry about her eating crayons and pooping rainbows!
Are your children more into technology than you are? Do you feel like its a problem?