Yep thats me. A meanie Mum!! Hmm well maybe not, but I tell you what, sometimes I feel like it!!
And the feeling is growing and increasing daily!
Lately I have been feeling a bit torn with the idea of technology for our children.
Now don't get me wrong, I am not anti technology. Hell I have the iPad next to me, my iPhone on charge and I am tapping away at a laptop.
However our kids have not really been introduced to technology and I am happy about that, and hoping it stays that way for some time to come.
Please don't think I am bagging you if you have different views than me, because I am not, but simply stating my dilemma.
It feels like, more and more these days, that most kids own an iPod, a Gameboy (DSI or whatever) or even iPads. Technology right at their fingertips, without a want or need for anything more.
I understand the value in these, that they can be great educational and co ordination tools, the entertainment factor etc but I am still not sold. Call me a sceptic, call me silly.
Even though my decision and feelings sit well with me for keeping these from our kids and in the way we are choosing to raise our children,but I can't help but feel .... almost guilty.
Are we , in a way, outcasting our kids? Are we depriving them of something that nearly every one of their peers has?!
To be honest, I just want our children to be .. kids.
To use their imagination for games and role play, the independence to know when they are bored and create something for themselves to do that doesn't involve batteries or sounds.
To know that Mum and Dads phones are just that... Mum and Dads. Our phones , our toys and things they are not allowed to play with.
Its almost like a Pringles packet, once you pop, you can't stop. Once you hand over that precious smart phone or tablet/iPad, and they get a taste of the excitement and games, you might as well say "Sayonara" to ever gaining that control back, or trying to justify to them that they indeed, belong to you.
I don't know about you, but I would not hand my child an envelope with $700 in it and trust them that it will be there, untouched, unscathed and the package all intact, in an hour or 2.
Yet schools are putting these tablets on their student book lists. Parents are handing these precious devices to their kids to play with. These 'toys' shatter to within an inch of their lives with a slip of the fingers and yet 2 and 3 years olds throw them around like they are rag dolls.
Our eldest, who is 4, has played on my iPad a few times. It is a VERY rare treat for her, when the young ones are asleep etc, but it hasn't happened for quite a few months, and she never asks for it either. Even when it is right under her nose, she never looks twice.
We have set rules that these are adult toys and they abide by them.
Are certain kids drawn to technology out of personality or out of habit? I'm curious, what do you think?
I find it hard to allow and introduce these technological devices into our lives and home, when I prefer wood toys over plastic and organic products over normal.
Mean Mum, I know, You can say it!!
But as I said, the guilt may be starting to set in.
Her cousins and friends own iPods, DSI's and those Leapfrog things.
I am sure that one day (I hope in the distant future) she with ask for one. Put one on her Birthday or Christmas list and I am sure , one day, we will have to succumb to the pressure.
I hope that day is years from now.
I hope that She can continue to happily play doctors and hospitals with her dolls. That she can play blocks and trains with her Brothers and Sister.
That when bored , they can head outside to play , and when travelling they can stare out of the window at the scenery.
That's another thing!! Do you allow your children to have car DVD players?
Are they reserved for long trips? Or just running around town?
I am curious. We have DVD players that strap to the headrests of our car but only ever use them for long trips. To Shark Bay (5hrs) at Easter or the occasional Perth trip (4 1/2 hrs). And even this is out of habit. Again, once you start using them, its hard to stop.
But on a trip to my sisters house on a farm (an hour away) we don't use them, and the kids still have a ball. Constantly singing, searching for cows and sheep and admiring the countryside.
All these dilemmas parents are faced with on a day to day basis.
All these decisions we have to make on behalf of our little people.
All these things that could potentially go wrong. Could backfire.
Oh well, I guess , in the end, as long as we are all happy and confident in our decisions for our family, that's all we can ask. We can't compare and judge upon others.
Each to their own and all that jazz!!
But tell me, if I was to take the technology route, where do we start?
Hypothetically..... of course!!