21st century parenting: What will you do?

I was recently watching Sky News on TV and came across a thought-provoking feature.

The news story being discussed was that of a 4 year child being addicted to her iPad. Unable to detach herself from it, she spent hours using it, throwing a tantrum when her much loved gadget was taken away from her. Now, this same 4 year old is being treated for an “iPad addiction”, and is currently undergoing a digital detox.

I’ve provided you with the story, and now I ask you a question (and hopefully, get you thinking). How will you parent your 21st century child?

This will be a child exposed to a vast and endless amount of technology; it will be unable to escape it, and it is very possible that by the time it’s 5, it could know how to operate anything. It’s a frightening thought to think that such a small little being can have such a capacity, but as technology dominates the minds of nearly everyone, there is no doubt that a child born in this day and age will be affected. Yet inevitably – in this scenario above anyway – it is the fault of the parents, right? They are the one who purchased the gadget and allowed it to fall into the hands of their child. If they had allowed the child to use it in a more controlled way, this 4 year old would now be able to function without having the iPad around her. Perhaps it might have been an idea to not introduce it at all. Her dependency on it is frustrating and absurd. What would make sense is if this little girl – or any child for that matter – depended on its teddy bear or a toy figure of some sort for comfort or companionship, as kids normally do. For me, personally, it would make far more sense if my child asked for a toy or the chance to play outside with neighbouring chidren. Under no circumstances do I ever imagine giving my child a gadget and simply letting it remain glued to it for dear life.

In the end, I believe it is the right of the parent to ensure that they allow their child access to things that do more good than bad. In a world that is slowly becoming engulfed and overpowered by technology, I think it’s a pretty good idea for parents to plan ahead and really think about what they will let their child exposed to.

I do not want my child to be in rehabilitation because they couldn’t let go of their gadget and spend time playing with me or other children. I think 21st century parenting is extremely difficult, and something that can easily become a problem when it comes to technology. It’s doable, however.

I think I hate technology.

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2 thoughts on “21st century parenting: What will you do?

  1. Screen Time. My seven year old gets an hour a day, and even then its limited to if he has decent grades in school.
    If he choses to use his screen time on my Fiance’s PS3, the Super Nintendo, his DS or television its his choice but its ONE hour. It is a rule I implemented at the age of 5 and it seems to work for him so far.
    Also, chores. If he stays busy he doesn’t have time to become addicted to screens. He has been doing his laundry since he was 5 and is in charge of unloading the dishwasher. If, for whatever reason, these chores slack, he loses out on his screen time for the day.
    Its hard raising children with so much technology nowadays. Thankfully the neighbourhood I live in is riddled iwth kids, I can kick them out of the house and at every given moment, they have at least 2, sometimes up to 7 playmates. But strong, sturdy rules right from the beginning before it becomes a problem seem to help. Proactive Parenting, not Reactive 😀

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