The topic of children having to much exposure to technology, social media and the internet is a definite modern day parenting dilemma.
When I was a young girl we weren’t rich, we didn’t have sky and in the late eighties Computers were primitive and internet dial up was slow and not Reilly available so it’s not really comparable to modern life but we played out in the street or the next street up without parental supervision. I remember getting in from school, getting changed and going straight out to knock on my mates. Mum would stand at the garden gate and shout of us when tea was ready then out again until bathtime.
A lot of the time both my generation, who are now the parents glamourise the life of playing out and even the now grandparents look back on our childhoods as ‘carefree’ but what has to be taken into consideration in a modern day setting is how much of it was carefree and how much of it was just lack of information.
I will start by saying I would never let my child play out unsupervised until she was of an age to fully comprehend the dangers. That’s just my personal opinion but I have seen kids of about 6 years old playing out at 8pm around where I live and over my dead body would that happen with mine. I think that’s just irresponsible parenting.
All of the children I know have games consoles, computers and internet access in their homes and spend a large chunk of their spare time using them. People get all upset that the ‘kids of today’ are always looking at a screen but in reality the truth is that this is just the future.
Parents should not complain about their kids spending so much time online without looking at their own actions, most adults are addicted to their phones and there capabilities. Our existence revolves around it, we talk and post photographs on social media rather than talk in person. We verify everything with google or Siri and save ourself the hassle of leaving the house to do the dreaded weekly shop with the kids by taping a few buttons while partaking in a glass of wine.
The internet is a modern day window to the world which to children it is just something that has been integral.
How long is spent on gaming consoles and iPads etc and what is exposed to your children via the internet is a completely separate issue. Everything’s great in moderation but honestly this is a generation of lazy parenting and I’m just as guilty as the next of doing this. I have dishes to wash, a child toy whirlwind to pick up or I just want 5 minutes to sit and drink a cup of tea while it’s still hot so I give Tilly the iPad and she sits and watches YouTube, for 10 minutes she is quiet, still, peaceful and doesn’t shout ‘mummy’ constantly like she’s the dictator of her own little country of one subject. I am usually around to keep an eye on what she sees but obviously we ant be around 24/7 and need to teach internet. As well as personal responsibility. There have been times where she watches annoying bratty ‘bad baby’ videos of kids just being total rats and they get switched off because it does have a negative effect on her mood and behaviour, trust me I have witnessed it.
My steppy james is 11 and he has a Xbox and a PS3 in his room that all 3 kids play on, daddy has a PS4 in the front room that that all play on . We watch movies and listen to music on other devices and phones because I’m not going to lie we love it.
The thing about social media is this, wether you like it or not, a lot of the bad stuff in the world was happening before we just have instant and easy access to the information now. We are able to connect with people we once would never have and especially when children are concerned we need to remain as vigilant about teaching them about ‘stranger danger’ online just as we would in real life.
Overall, technology goes hand in hand with modern life and if anything it’s only going to gain momentum, as parents we must get behind the movement while keeping both ourselves and our children informed of the dangers but never forget that life is for living and switching off and interacting with each other is the most important part of life.
Signing off with love and lipstick,