As a busy mother of two, I have become quite reliant on technology. It is not something that I am necessarily proud of and I certainly do not recommend starting your little ones on devices without proper regulations. It became the easiest option for my youngest when we would go to her big brothers sporting events for hours and hours. It was easy for me. It was convenient. And as a parent, sometimes convenience becomes your norm as you try to make it through your busy day.
However, this convenient option is now coming back to bite me in the rear. My sweet girl (who isn’t even two) has become an addict. It is to the point that she can’t function without having the “ipaaa” in her hands. She has become moody, a tantrum thrower, and a hitter when she isn’t allowed on it. I find myself ‘giving in’ to avoid a scene in public, or a tantrum in the middle of cooking. We have both become dependent on technology. And there is nothing more frustrating than looking around to see your entire family on some sort of device, knowing that you have created that environment for your children.
Now I am not bashing technology or the use of it with children altogether, but I am saying it needs to be limited. Moderation is key.
The misconception is that we assume all technology is bad. It can actually be a good thing when used correctly.
So how do we moderate the use of devices when we are busy, our toddler is throwing down, and our most convenient option is to give in because its easy?
- Pray first. Stop what you’re doing, take a deep breath and pray for guidance, and patience.
- Redirect. Try to redirect your little one to something different. Let them help you cook or clean, etc. (This can be hard when you have a touch of OCD, like myself and have to have everything just so, but remember that you will actually miss these moments and it will not matter if your house was cleaned perfectly).
- Fast. Put your toddler on a technology fast. Don’t allow them on for 72 hours and then slowly incorporate it back at specific times with rules.
- Schedule. Schedule certain times and days the iPad is allowed. Don’t allow yourself to depend on it, in other words don’t let it become your iNanny :). And don’t over use your own device in front of your children, as we are examples, and children learn by example.
Technology can be a good thing when used appropriately. Use it as a learning tool. Take the time to sit with your children so you can monitor what they are seeing and it can become interactive instead of seclusive.
Be the example your children need in all things. As it says in Titus 2:7-8 “In everything set them an example by doing what is good. In your teaching show integrity, seriousness and soundness of speech that cannot be condemned, so that those who oppose you may be ashamed because they have nothing bad to say about us.”