Joining me this week is the lovely Kirsty from More of Me. Not only is Kirsty’s blog great, she also makes great You Tube videos so be sure to check those out! She’s also the owner of a very beautiful Instagram feed, the kind that make me want to take photography lessons. Anyway, here’s Kirsty great post…
MUM GUILT: PLAYING WITH TECHNOLOGY
In my totally unstable pregnant mind my child would play only with wooden toys, have bedtime stories in the rocking chair and would be taught words, colours and shapes via toddler flashcards. There would be no TV and most definitely no iPads or other tablet devices, absolutely no way! I was clearly deluded (like most first time mummies probably are).
Fast forward two years later and here I am sat watching my toddler scroll through HIS youtube feed selecting which little clip of utter nonsense he wants to watch next. I’m clearly on my laptop (I’m writing this) and I have this pang of guilt sitting in the pit of my stomach. It’s not overly nice outside but I’m sure a visit to the park or a stroll to feed the ducks would be much more educational for my little man, but in honesty I can’t be bothered, and now I feel guilty again.
Oscar’s sat there in his element because he’s getting to play with the ‘piepad’, he’s none the wiser that the ducks are starving because we haven’t been to visit them and he’s forgotten there’s a park at the end of the road. Don’t get me wrong, he doesn’t get the iPad often, usually when he is tired in the afternoons or if by mistake we have left it lying out and he finds it, or if I need to distract him whilst I get something done. For the most part he is happy to play with his toys, in fact he loves it, he loves it when Ian and I get involved and play along with him, the utter joy in his face makes my heart melt.
Sometimes when we’re out and he’s throwing the most epic tantrum I bribe him with my phone. The minute I mention ‘phone’ the tantrum, 9 times out of 10 stops and he’s back to being angel child. I feel guilty about that, why? because I feel like people judge me, I still wonder what people think of me, do they think I am one of those mothers who can’t be bothered to entertain their child so throwing a phone in their face is the answer, do they think that he’s spoilt because he’s ‘getting what he wants’. All of these things make me feel guilty! My Gran rolls her eyes in utter disgust, she thinks technology is a ‘load of nonsense’ in her day kids played outside until supper time. I often question myself, should I allow him at 2 years old to play with these things? I regularly say to my husband that we need to get him out more and I am actively looking for outdoor groups for him to join. I don’t want him to become obsessed with technology so young that nothing else excites him.
Whilst we are nowhere near that stage and the ratio of time playing with his toys more than outweighs the time he gets on the iPad I still feel guilty. Through the guilt though a huge part of me feels like in today’s society it is more accepted and the majority of us allow our children to play with technology in some way. I am not against my son playing with the iPad or my phone, and I am not trying to justify my actions but I do believe there is some value in allowing him to play with the iPad. For example, Oscar is limited to Youtube Kids, it’s a great idea, it means that he can only access content suitable for children, and thankfully he is a huge fan of the nursery rhymes and loves to sing and dance along. He loves watching videos on playdoh, and whilst they may not seem educational, they do in fact help teach him shapes and colours. Through youtube, and I am sure I have touched on this before, his speaking has come on so much from simply listening and repeating.
Aside from all of the above, I do on occasion (like today) feel guilty that I sometimes opt to entertain my son with the iPad but I’m not going to beat myself up about it as really it’s not the end of the world and the reality is, no matter how hard we try to shield them from technology, the future is plagued with it and there’s really no escape. For now I’ll keep it to a minimum.
Do you let your little ones play with technology, if so do you think it’s been beneficial in anyway? Let me know in the comments.
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