Super iNanny!

A very refreshing article in today’s Guardian about children and technology. Or the iNanny as some might call iPhones, iPads etc.

One reason I started blogging was to be honest about struggling with my baby’s sleep. So many mums talked/bragged/lied about their perfect sleepers I wanted to share my opposing experience. And I think use of technology with our kids is another issue people rose tint a fair amount. After all no-one wants to admit they plonk the kids in front of the tv all day! I get the impression Apps etc are also used far more than parents admit, even to themselves.

Having said that I imagine we are probably at the ‘high end’ of iPad/iPhone usage by our toddler. Certainly at the moment with us still adjusting to a new baby in the house his screen time is sky high. And it’s not even the children’s Apps he uses either. Angry Birds, Bad Piggies, that Simpsons game… He also watches stuff, mainly computer game run throughs, on YouTube. The article refers to a four year old receiving therapy for iPad addiction. Now I don’t think Bub is addicted but I’ll be honest and say that, like the girl in the story, Bub has sometimes been on the iPhone for four hours a day. I’m not particularly proud of that and I do think this kind of usage is excessive. But I’m probably not alone in using the old iNanny a bit more than ideal.

We have started to limit Bub’s use of the iPhone/iPad. He still has access first thing, when I’m usually busy with Baby. And just before bed (mainly so we can promise it ‘later…’) And depending how things go there may be a few more short sessions. Not exactly in line with the pious ‘only half an hour at most twice a week’ brigade yet! But less than he has had it before. And to be honest he seems to be getting along fine finding other distractions for himself.

I’m also trying to ensure we play on it more together. Feeding the baby is a great time for me to also watch what he’s doing and chat about it. Or be dragooned into helping with an Angry Birds level he is stuck on.

And finally I’m trying to be a better example myself. I love my iPhone and would laze about all day reading articles and eating chocolate if I could. But that’s probably not a brilliant parenting strategy so I try to keep that to when he’s in bed! When we’re together I try to keep it out of both our reach most of the time.

So what is your approach to your child’s use of the iPad/iPhone?

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