I wanted to ramble a little about my mental struggle with allowing E to use technology.
I know from having spoken to other parents that I am not the only who feels to way about it all. I really really struggle with the idea of E being able to use an iPad, computer or mobile phone whilst so young. It doesn’t seem right.
I am so so passionate about keeping her childhood a childhood for as long a a possible. Filling it with magical wonder and a happiness that growing up takes away from you. I want her to paint in the garden, run through fields and never stop exploring.
The only point of reference I have for that is my own childhood where I spent hours outside, played games and my imagination created the best fun. Although I grew up in an age of huge technological advancement, I didn’t really access it or even experience it until I became a teenager which means my childhood was free from touchscreens and mobile phones. However, my childhood is ended and I have to think about giving E the best possibilities imaginable.
I feel this includes ensuring that she is able to use the technology that surrounds her to the best of her ability. I know, from friends who teach, that schools use iPads and tablets a lot now. As much as I would like to keep away from screens and technology, I absolutely do not want her to be the only child in her class that can’t use a tablet.
With all this in mind I have begun to allow E some access with an old iPad of ours. At the moment she is supervised and only really plays educational games on it. However she has discovered she can use it to watch cartoons and will occasionally ask for iPad time with headphones – I can see this becoming more frequent as she gets older.
I am not entirely sure how we will approach screen time, the use of tablets and so on as she gets older. I know already from looking at the children around me that she spends less time than most, I know children that can navigate an iPhone better than me.
Despite all my inner conflict, I do know that technology has a place in this world now. I know that I will have to find an internal compromise and allow more technology into her life.
Do you allow screen time phone time? Are you as conflicted as me?