Tuesday, 3 December 2013

Toddlers, technology & the need to hide my phone.

As parents we turn to gadgets and gizmo's for an easy life. I get it; at times my girls drive me mad. But by giving them a simple gaming app on my phone, I feel like I may as well be sitting them in front of the television. They go all zone like. And it is not the sort of parenting I want to resort to.

I recently posted a review on an app I've downloaded for my two small children to play with in times of need - such as in the doctor's waiting room or during a traffic jam. 

I believe these emergency type scenarios are the time and place for playing on a mobile (or whatever digital equipment one happens to pull out of their baby bag these days). Most especially when it comes to toddlers.

The trouble is, since introducing them to games, both girls are fighting to get their hands on my phone. Each wanting to play on the kid's app whenever possible. This is not what I anticipated when I downloaded it. It's supposed to make my LIFE AS IT IS easier. Not more of a challenge.

The desire to play on Mummy's phone, and the yells and moans that quickly accompany it, is frustrating. Subsequently, my phone has gone into hiding.

Perhaps, the more important point to make is that I do not see how this sort of app can be good for such a small child's development? Yet digital game play is more and more widespread in toddlers. Heck, I've received press release after press release, regards the top ten tablets for your kids etc. Am I that old-fashioned wanting my kids to hang onto a childhood of yesteryear? 

Yesterday as Fia napped, I contemplated the rights and wrongs of technology and toddlers, and while doing so an email from a small team of greeting card designers popped into my Inbox. It mentioned the stats recently published regarding the literacy and numeracy skills of adults in England and Northern Ireland: A rather staggering 8.5 million adults have the literacy and numeracy levels of a ten year-old.

Needless to say I contemplated further. Should my two-year-old be building with blocks or looking at books rather than touching a screen to help an animated figure jump? Perhaps one could argue, to download an age appropriate app that would help with numeracy and literacy is the way forward? I don't think so. The email didn't mention social skills (and lack of them), but the thought is screaming out at me. 

I have to make my 2yo daughter's interaction with toys more exciting. To show her the way in play a little bit more. To actually play with her a little bit more.  

I clearly have to hone my perfect parent role for along with getting the blocks out I've started to wonder when will Sofia begin nursery exactly? Surely I can't be alone in finding playing with small children tedious?! And this will be part of the reason why digital play finds itself into the hands of toddlers in the first place.

A quick mention re the tele… In our house, there is a set place for television. For winding down after dinner and pre-bed. Or on a day that I get Esme from school and she looks so utterly exhausted, we watch a film together. 

Look, no parent can sustain the perfect parenting role full time. And when I think about the days that I feel so totally exhausted myself, I know I also turn the TV on. But I won't be handing over my phone again willy nilly. 

Aside from the fact that the app I have won't particularly aid my toddler or my 5yo in development, it's not very green is it? And who knows? It may well be endangering them. Health issues regarding wireless technology and our kids have yet to play out. Sorry for that sobering thought.

On a more cheerful note, I took a look at the link to the greeting cards made by this small outfit, and thought they were great. What do you think of Cardooo?


Cardooo make greeting cards offering entertainment, activities, and even stories within them. Now surely that is a great way of helping a child with their literacy, numeracy and imaginative development?


I think these cards are both brilliant and necessary.   


Tom said...

I love the idea of these cards - which is a good thing as I ought to get round to writing my post about them. Thanks for the reminder! :-)

Emma Oliver said...

Aren't they great Tom?! Thanks for the comment. And yes, crack on!