We live in an increasingly tech-forward world, no doubt about it. Most of it is innovative and positive; some perhaps unnecessary and all-consuming. But it’s here and coming still, no way around it. What I struggle with most is how much to allow my children to have and use, and at what ages?
At the moment, I’m the meanest mom in the whole wide world, and I’m way out of touch, so says my 9-year-old. It’s all because she’s the only person she knows that doesn’t have her own mobile phone.
Let me preface this by saying she is not a spoiled brat who didn’t appreciate her Christmas presents – she was thrilled with the iTouch she received, even though it was #4 on her list (after the iPad, iPhone and regular mobile phone that she did not receive). This is simply an ongoing “debate” we are having, and after checking out her peers’ gifts, it makes me wonder if I’m wrong in holding off on certain purchases.
Both of my girls have received various electronic educational games over the years (Leapfrog, DS, etc.). They both got iPod Shuffles a few years ago. They have digital cameras, music devices, computers and more, either personally or within easy reach and frequent use. I’m not opposed to electronics and what they can offer.
I’m not against mobile phones, either. I really don’t understand why Leah “needs” one, though. She’s not off on her own, there’s never been an emergency (knock on wood), and contact is pretty accessible. She doesn’t need another distraction or something else to possibly lose, and I don’t need yet another expense.
I’m okay to admit that I am far behind in my own personal technological comprehension, and that both of my daughters will be light years ahead of me in their needs/wants/understanding of all things electronic. Gosh, I took my first computer programming course in college as a pass/fail option (thank goodness), and my first cell phone was the size of a brick, but I digress…
Maybe I’m subconsciously trying to hold onto my girls being little girls, with their desires being all things young. Perhaps my fears about them growing up so fast here are taking over. Then again, maybe I’m just in denial about the electronic age and I should simply poll people to find out what is deemed appropriate, smart, or universal for our young kids these days.
Your thoughts would be most welcome!