It can be a tricky balance for us parents, deciding just how much technology to allow our children access to, and how often.
Some parents are pretty much against it altogether. For some it’s about not wanting their children exposed to screens for any length of time or the potential dangers of the internet. Then again, it could simply be about not wanting grubby little fingerprints all over the iPhone or iPad.
Other parents fully embrace technological advances and happily allow their children access to their smart phone, tablets and PC. They recognise that technology is so much a part of our lives that letting children use a computer is no different to giving them a crayon and a piece of paper: these are both skills they need to learn.
I try and take a balance somewhere in the middle. I want Ben and Lottie to play outside in the mud, read real books and use their imaginations, but I also want them to develop certain technical skills, and to enjoy technology (safely, of course). I know some parents feel the need to defend their use of technology by saying there are some really good educational games and apps, and that’s true – there are.
But there are also some great games with entertainment value rather than educational worth. Even I can’t pretend that hurling really riled up birds at some pigs is in any way informative, but for me, that’s okay. I don’t let them play on my phone all day (otherwise when would I play on it?!). But as with everything parenting related, there will be differing opinions on ‘the best’ way to do things.
So, how much is too much then?
In case you’re worried, here are 10 signs that your child might be overexposed to technology:
- They ask you for the WiFi code for the playhouse
- They sing The wheels on the Universal Serial Bus (USB)
- You ask them if they like blackberries and they respond by asking which model.
- They play hashtag in the playground
- When you ask your child to eat the last 8 bits of their dinner they tell you that means just one byte.
- They call their waterproof an iMac
- They ask if the Bluetooth fairy will still bring them money even though the tooth is definitely white.
- You tell them they look like tired and they insist they don’t need to go into power saving mode
- You ask them to open the windows and and they get the laptop and start loading up the computer.
- When taking a photo you tell them to smile and they shout out ‘colon, hyphen, close bracket’ 🙂
That’s when you might want to have a rethink.
Sarah is mum to Ben, 4 and Lottie, 2. She loves stationery, the colour of Calpol, flip flops and her family. She also loves to write about their adventures in her blog – because life is always an adventure with kids. thetruetalesofteamwoods.blogspot.co.uk