Raising Kids on the Magic Carpet of Technology

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George Schalter is back with us today. He’s the dad blogger who stops by every now and then to contribute some great stuff here. Welcome George back by leaving a comment and sharing this post with others. 

Raising Kids on the Magic Carpet of Technology

You can’t live with it, you can’t live without it – that’s technology for you. I love technology and gadgets, so you would think the kids and I are on the same page. I would say yes, maybe and no!

I am right there with the kids when they are on their mobile devices/tablets playing art games or penguin games. Sometimes it is a lot more fun than playing Monopoly or Snakes and Ladders. However, what gets the parent in me bristling is when I am talking and the kids don’t seem to hear me. You’d think they are wearing blinkers that block out everything, but what’s happening on the tablet in front of them. The earth could shake and potatoes could grow out of my ears, and they wouldn’t blink!

At times like this, I need to look at the signals I send out to my kids. Do I ignore them while I am in the middle of texting or on a call? Yes, I am guilty on those counts. So, these days my wife and I try to lead by example. We need a whole new chapter in social etiquette with technology in the picture!

Let me also plead guilty on counts of using digital toys to get the kids off my back. We use apps to keep them occupied sometimes (mostly during the football season). But how different is it from the times when we handed them toys or books so we could get a moment for ourselves?

Photo 1

Photo Credit: “Seriously: 3 little kids with tablet computers…”by campfiremike is licensed under CC BY 2.0

We have been pro-technology when it comes to parenting. Starting with the baby monitor, to some apps we use to make sure our kids are safe (sometimes this makes me feel like an overprotective and Bond-ish dad). Admittedly, this can go over the top like with an app I heard that allows you to watch your child eat lunch. C’mon now, you need to draw the line somewhere!

We still worry as our parents did, but technology has eased the pain to some extent. We still panic when we get a call from the school. It makes me wonder – how did our parents cope when there were no tracking devices or mobiles?

Our kids can never catch us off-guard as they fire away their questions – and there are many. Information is within easy access to us and the kids with the Internet. Agreed, we wish there was some information that wasn’t so easily accessible. Cyber bullying and people who might be stalking kids on the net is nightmarish. The safety options help here but we can’t rely on that alone. Whoever thought technology is a shortcut to parenting, has never taken a peek at this side of the story!

Another aspect of technology – and here I truly sympathize with kids – is I can log in and check their school report. I remember trying to catch my dad in a good mood before I showed him my report. Mom would be my accomplice and there would be spaghetti for dinner.

Photo 2

IMG_8199 Father-Son time” by 57412095@N05 is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Technology is not the guest who overstayed its welcome. The best way to be a parent in this digital age is to shake hands (or rub noses, depending on where you are in this world), and make friends with technology, so you don’t miss out on something that is going to be a big part of your child’s life, something that is now an integral part of life!

And did I mention that I am taking my younger one out to the park for a biking lesson this weekend? I will take shots of him with my smartphone as he teeters on the bicycle. Maybe I will make a video to add to a visual memory album. When he is older, we might even look at some of the biking apps that are trending. That’s what technology does to you.

Bio:

George Schalter loves being a dad. He and his wife share the joys and responsibilities of bringing up their two children. As believers of good all round education, they spend a lot of time playing with their children and spending time outdoors. As George is the writer in the family, he blogs at http://educationalkidsgames.edublogs.org/.

Until next time…

Geek Girl

 

 

 

 

 

 

Geek Grandma

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Comments (5)

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  1. jacquiegum says:

    OMG! This is so on target! I don't think that a lot of parents understand the examples they set for their kids by always having their phone or tablet in front of them! On the other hand, you have to stay "up to date" with the tech stuff in order to monitor what they are or are not doing with social media. I just read an article where Angelina Jolie commented that they have hired someone to monitor their kids social media…because it is way over her and Brad's head!!!!

    • George says:

      I am very glad you enjoyed the post. It was very interesting to read about the new kind of nannies Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt are hiring – someone to monitor their kids' social media presence!
      Thanks very much for stopping by!

    • Agree with you completely Jacqueline.

      What's truly important is to make sure kids don't lose their social ability by being in front of their tablets/PC's/iPhones non stop. Without social abilities it's very difficult to get ahead in life.

  2. Wow an app to watch your kid eat lunch? Now I've heard it all. I remember back when we were little kids and our parents would tell us to go outside and play and we'd be gone for hours and hours as long as we were back before dark and before dinner was on the table. Now we have to watch kids every second – even eating their lunch? In case they choke on their lunch…have an allergic reaction?? I'm sure there is an app to handle either of these two medical emergencies that a Kindergarten kid could pop up on their new iPhone 6 and take care of in an instant. In case you hadn't figured it out, I think we have gone a little overboard on technology with the kids. 🙂

    • George says:

      Yes Susan, I agree with you – some of us have gone overboard with technology. Parenting in some cases seems to have turned into being mere custodians, nothing more. Personally I think technology must always be used with great judiciousness.
      Thanks very much for reading through!