Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Technology Challenges for Parents

Happy Wednesday everyone! Today I wanted to share a picture that has brought up a challenge in my house.  And here it is.

Both of my kids are hooked on technology!  So much so that one takes over my laptop to play games on the PBS Kids website, and the other wants to play games on my iPod touch.  And then if they aren't taking over that they are hogging the tv to play their LeapFrog Click Start. 

I have to admit sometimes mommy wants her grown up toys (laptop and iPod) back!  I have to say that I am thrilled that my kids want to play and I think there is a benefit to letting them play.  Especially the games on the PBS Kids website which provide great learning opportunities.  And I can't tell you how many free educational apps I've found in the Apple Store. 

But the challenge my husband and I are facing is what is too much time on these gadgets?  I'm trying to balance them getting playtime in other areas, but still letting them reap the benefits of playing educational games.  I don't want them to get into the habit of being on gadgets for hours a day.  I haven't come up with a set amount of time they are allowed because I'm trying to take each day and see how we are doing.  We have had such a mild winter they have been able to get outside a lot which has been helpful, and when the weather gets warmer they will be outside even more playing with the water table which they both love.  But for now, these games have been a great way to help pass away some of the yucky winter days.

I also have to admit that the apps I've found for the iPod have been so useful in getting us through appointments.  We had a dentist appointment Monday and it was the first time my youngest son, Logan, had been. It was great to have the iPod to help him wait and to distract him during his exam.  He did great!

As I've been pondering this technology challenge, I realized my parents had a little taste of this technology challenge when I was growing up.  My generation was one of the first with video games coming into homes on a large scale.  Nintendo was so big when I was growing up. But now with so many gadgets available to kids, I am dealing with the technology balance on a greater scale.  So as a parent of a child growing up now, I am a trail blazer on teaching my kids how to balance technology in their life and to show them that while these things are great, you have to actually be out there living your life.  Just as it would be with other areas of their life, finding balance will be the key. 

Are you facing this challenge of balancing technology with your kids?  Do you set limits on their access to gadgets?  What are your concerns with all of these things readily available at a kids finger tips?

Hope you are having a great day in your neck of the woods!

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