Since I’ve become a mom, I’m racked with guilt. I only breast-fed my kids for 4-6 weeks (eek!), my youngest sleeps in our bed (although maybe that’s good – based on Time’s recent article) and both my kids go to full-time daycare – what can I say, I’m not a natural stay-at-home Mom and kudos to those stay-at-home Moms but I need to work.
Well, for once I’ve done it. I’ve squashed the Mommy guilt around tablet technology. I was about to have Mommy guilt, wondering: Do my kids play on the tablet too much? Do I really need to purchase another Toca Boca app? How often should I be downloading new content for them? And my personal fav – Darn it, I’ve used my tablet as a babysitter again. I need to stop that!
So why did I decide to cut myself some slack? These three reasons summarize it the best:
1. Tablet technology is here to stay.
There is no point beating myself up about how much screen time my kids get. Yes, I need to set limits on my kid’s screen time but I also have a responsibility to become an actively engaged parent. In my family, we use the tablet together and I find ways to enhance the tablet experience, where possible, to be educational. As a parent, I can’t afford to be passive and let my kids take the lead. Sure, they might understand it faster than I do but it’s still my job to guide them no matter what the medium.
2. My kids are digital natives.
The world they are growing up in is integrated with technology like never before. They use digital cameras; they engage in free play using toy cell phones and see a TV screen and want to touch it or swipe it. It’s all around them. To stick my head in the sand and pretend that it won’t have an impact on their lives is unrealistic and quite frankly, not fair to them.
3. The more I know the better prepared I should be for when my kids are older.
Technology, in general, is constantly evolving. The more I’m aware of tablet technology and its limitations, the better equipped I will be (or so I like to think) when the pre-teen/teen years hit. Having exposure to tablet technology will help me to understand where it has come from and how it could evolve. I’ve encountered parents who were caught off guard by technology and I want to demonstrate to my kids that I’ve been paying attention and know what I’m talking about.
So for now my tablet tech mommy guilt is gone. Now let me know what you think on Twitter @weebootMom. Do you have tablet tech guilt?
Andrea Benton is a passionate techie Mom, who has two young children, both of which love tablet technology. She blogs about tablet technology for parents and childcare providers. Follow Andrea on Twitter @weebootMom or sign up for her eNewsletter called the weeport at www.weeboot.ca.