Welcome to the October 2013 Carnival of Natural Parenting: Kids and Technology
This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Carnival of Natural Parenting hosted by Code Name: Mama and Hobo Mama. This month our participants have written about their families’ policies on screen time.
Our technology use has definitely changed in the last year since we’ve had our son. Babies and technology can mix really well or not at all. In both cases, mindfulness and the ability to change as needed is key.
We’re a TV on in the background sort of household. The amazing thing is that our son is totally uninterested. I’ve tried putting on kid specific programming and he might watch for a minute and then is off again exploring and playing and rearranging the house to his little heart’s content.
We’re also big computer users. When Silas was young, I could browse with laptop propped up next time while he nursed. By about 7-8 months he was too busy cruising the furniture for us to have laptops out. Between yanking on and eating cords, we finally had to do some baby proofing and hide them. Plus, he tries to mimic us typing by smacking the keys which can lead to some, erm, interesting results. So for now, laptops have been relegated to our study and for post-baby bedtime usage. The good news is that we now spend way less time on our computers. The bad news is that I spend so much less non-work time on my computer that I’ve stopped reading my feeds and almost missed this carnival.
The biggest thing for us has been smartphone usage. I still keep myself entertained when little man is nursing by reading books or browsing Pinterest. It’s helped me stay sane and feel connected to a world outside just being a mom. I’ve googled symptoms and read lots of articles about attachment and gentle parenting. I’ve read kids books and fiction and parenting books. I’ve wasted time looking at pretty things and imaging all that I could do (ha!). And sometimes, I even do those things!
Overall, the biggest thing for us and technology is that we as parents have to be mindful of being able to disconnect when our son needs us. In practice, this means that if our little man is happily playing by himself then it’s okay if we’re on our laptops/phones. If he fusses or comes over and wants our attention, then technology gets put away and our son gets our full attention.
Sometimes this means that the other parent will distract for a minute or two if there’s an important work email that needs answered, but generally it means that we get up off our butts, take that little hand in ours, and let him take us outside for an hour long toddle around the neighbourhood. Last night we went on 3 separate outdoor explorations, which included little baby dances in leaves and throwing leaves and wandering off with a gentleman’s keys.
Please take time to read the submissions by the other carnival participants (list will be updated throughout the day on October 8):
- Has Technology Taken Away Childhood? — Jennifer at Hybrid Rasta Mama worries that technology is intruding on the basic premise of childhood – active play in all forms! Join her as she takes a brief look at how play has changed as technology becomes more integrated into the daily lives of our children.
- Fostering a Healthy Relationship with Technology — Jenn at Adventures Down Under describes her children’s love of screen time and how her family implements their philosophy and policies on technology.
- Kids Chores for Tech Privileges — Crunchy Con Mommy shares how tying chore completion to iPad privileges worked in her house to limit screen time and inspire voluntary room cleaning!
- Screens — Without the benefit of her own experience, sustainablemum explains her family’s use of technology in their home.
- Screen Time – The Battle of Ideologies — Laura from Laura’s Blog explains why she is a mom who prioritizes outdoor natural play for her kids but also lets them have ample screen time.
- The Day My iPhone Died — Revolution Momma at Raising a Revolution questions the role technology plays in her life when she is devastated after losing her phone’s picture collection from her daughter’s first year.
- Finding our Technological Balance — Meegs at A New Day talks about how she finds balance between wanting her daughter to enjoy all the amazing technology available to her, without it overwhelming the natural parenting she’s striving for.
- Raising kids who love TV — Lauren at Hobo Mama sometimes fears what children who love screentime will grow up to be … until she realizes they’ll be just like her.
- No Limits on Screen Time? Is that Natural? — Susan at Together Walking shares misconceptions and benefits of having no limits on technology and screen time in their home.
- Screen Time — Jorje of Momma Jorje shares what is currently working (and what hasn’t) regarding screen time in her household.
- Positive Use of Technology with Kids — Deb Chitwood at Living Montessori Now tells about her family’s experiences with early technology, shares helpful resources from around the blogosphere, and speculates on what she’d do as a parent with young children today.
- why i will never quit you, TV — How Emma of Your Fonder Heart came to terms with the fact that screen time is happening, and what balance looks like between real and virtual life for both her toddler AND herself.
- Technology Speaks — Janet at Our Little Acorn finds many uses for technology – including giving her child a voice.
- 5 Ways to Extend Children’s Screen Time into Creative Learning Opportunities — Looking for a way to balance screen time with other fun learning experiences? Dionna at Code Name: Mama shares 5 fun ways to take your child’s love of favorite shows or video games and turn them into creative educational activities.
- What parents can learn about technology from teachers — Douglas Blane at Friendly Encounters discusses how technology in schools enhances children’s learning, and where to find out more.
- 5 Tips for a Peaceful Home — Megan of the Boho Mama and author at Natural Parents Network shares her favorite 5 tips for creating a peaceful home environment.
- Technology and Natural Learning — Kerry at City Kids Homeschooling writes about the importance of technology as a tool for natural, self-directed learning.
- Babies and Technology — Jana Falls shares how her family has coped, changed their use of, relied on, and stopped using various forms of technology since their little man arrived on the scene
- Kids and Technology — Rosemary at Rosmarinus Officinalis talks about the benefits of using technology with her preschooler, and includes a few of their favorite resources.
- Using Technology to Your Advantage: Helping Children Find Balance — At Living Peacefully with Children, Mandy discusses how technology can be used or abused and gives a few tips to help children learn balance.