Today I realised something that has started yo worry me slightly. As I sat there finishing writing a blog post I noticed my son had joined me at the table with his Leap pad. My son is 6 soon and apart from the rare occasion when he’s played a CBeebies game on my iPad, he’s never bothered much with digital devices or computer games. He’s always been a bit telly obsessed, but has never bothered about phones or iPads or anything similar. That was until recently. Now, is it an age thing? Or am I influencing his like of digital? I am a blogger after all!
My son got a Leap pad for Christmas (from us) but it remained at the bottom of the drawer until recently, as he just wasn’t interested. Mainly because he struggled with it and then the batteries ran out, so there it stayed in the drawer for a while. Then yesterday he asked for it and then moaned because he couldn’t use it as we needed to get some new batteries. I’m not sure why he wanted to use it so much. So we put some new batteries in and he used it on and of all day. So I now ask myself, should I be limiting the time he spends on it? Of course I should! This is something I didn’t think I would have to face for quite a while! May e when he was say 12!
After a day of him using I found myself already telling him ‘just 5 minutes more, then it’s going away!’. Luckily he wasn’t too upset about that and obliged quite easily. He got really good at the games and knowing how to work the leap pad, starting from not having a clue and needing my help. Even my little girl ran off with the thing to try and have a go! She wants to do everything her big brother does!
Im already aware that I spend a lot of time on my iPad, but I do try not to use it in front of the kids. My iPhone use is far worse though, as I’m always taking photos and having a sneaky look at Twitter, Facebook or Instagram! My iPhone is a bit like a third arm at times, so what does this mean for my kids? My mum asked me the other day ‘when will you allow Joshua to get a mobile phone or iPad?’ Not because she thinks he should have one but just asking if I’d thought about it as it worries he too. I said ‘don’t be ridiculous not for years yet!’. But his leap pad is like an iPad and he even calls it an iPad!
Sometimes I think it’s the generation (blimey I do sound old now!) mobile phones only came out when I was about 13-15. I remember my first one, a Nokia, it was the size of a brick! I thought it was bloody amazing! But we are along way from that now, digital devices are everywhere and have a big impact on people’s lives. I mean, who doesn’t have a smart phone?! At school they have a class laptop (in class one) where the children have to sign themselves in and say what they want for lunch, which he is quite comfortable with. After a while he started asking daddy if he could type his name using his laptop, which on occasion we’ve let him and he really enjoys that.
So what now? Should I worry? Am I being too strict? Should I stop using my phone so much? Digital free days perhaps? How much should I let my son use his leap pad? So many questions all of a sudden. It’s niaive to think my son wont want to use computers, phones, tablets, etc., but when and what is acceptable and do I even have any control? More trips to the beach I think….
What is your experience with your kids? And what’s your advice?