Sanctimummies ‘R’ us vs technology for kids… give us a break will you?

Sanctimummies 'R' us vs technology for kids... give us a break will you? via Toby & Roo :: daily inspiration for stylish parents and their kids.

Sanctimummies 'R' us vs technology for kids... give us a break will you? via Toby & Roo :: daily inspiration for stylish parents and their kids.

Lately I’ve seen a smattering of my mummy friends on Facebook sharing anti-tech posts, you know, the ones that actively diss mothers who throw an iPad in their toddlers direction during a temper tantrum or tell you how technology for kids is frying the brains of today’s youth and causing a zombie apocalypse (which I’m pretty confident we can thank Justin Bieber for… just sayin’.)

These posts are usually accompanied by the following status and ideally a whimsical photo of the precious offspring:

“Oh I couldn’t agree more with this! What an honest and truthful article!! I’m so desperately saddened when I see Mother’s giving their children their mobile phones or iPads in a cafe or out and about – it’s truly tragic. Today myself and X experienced the wilderness in its purest form, interacting with squirrels and wild rabbits in the woods. Just as I remember my own beautiful and blessed childhood. There really is no need for technology before the age of 37.”

Alright Snow White, we get it. You don’t “do” tech, but d’ya wanna fuck off with the sanctimonious bullshit? Please and thanks. The thing is, I’d kindly like to point out that, while interacting with nature is a truly beautiful and wonderful thing for our children to do, this is NOT 1980. This is not the world you grew up in, and these kids are not of your generation. They are termed the digital generation for a reason sweetheart, and it’s not because of terrible mother’s like myself that forgot to teach them how to whittle their own stick to match the one you have firmly lodged up your arse. It’s because everything, and I mean EVERYTHING, is digital now. From finance to food, everything can and often is done online or via some fashion of electronics. You bank online. You find recipes for that special Mother’s Day dinner online. Your boss asks you to file away an invoice for your latest client, you better believe their will be a digital version.

Everything is done online. Seriously, we’re one shade away from being the cast of The Matrix and you want to talk about being anti-tech?!

Here’s the thing, I’m not suggesting that you sit your kids in front of a tablet 24/7, I’m not saying that they should be online gaming by the age of 6, but I am saying you need to get off your high horse a little bit. I find the very fact that you share an online article about being anti-tech for kids to be hilariously ironic – I had you pegged as purely the print kinda gal. My eldest attends a Forest School, which means he has a significant portion of his learning time outside, but he also has an iPad at school. He can build a den, identify habitats and he’s a beast at I spy because his phonics are the bomb. He can also swim further than any other child in his year or the year above him – completely unaided. You know what else he can do? He can understand certain basic computer codings. He can type his name and a short sentence and he can troll his way through most EYFS games for numeracy and literacy, not to mention beat his Dad at their transformers game. He’s 4.

I find the whole “we avoid tech” thing bizarre, but I respect your choice. I appreciate that you aren’t deliberately trying to hold your child back because you want to be a fashionable mum who does “the right” thing. I’m not judging you for the fact that you would rather your child sat and had a temper tantrum in the restaurant, disturbing everyone else in there, because you don’t want to stoop to a bit of YouTube toy unboxing. That’s cool. You carry on with your thing mama, you clearly have this sorted and Nanny McPhee hasn’t got shit on you. Meanwhile, me and my digital generation kids will be over here watching HobbyKidsTv and finding out how awesome the new limited edition Frozen Kinder Egg toys are.

H x

19 Comments

  1. July 14, 2017 / 5:27 pm

    No mum would leave their child infront of an iPad/TV all day so to use it occasionally when you are doing activities like cooking , eating a meal out or driving is fine. Especially like where one person quoted on a 5 hour drive. It’s better for them to be entertained than distract your driving. Having a mix of indoor and outdoor activities is fine. Some mums just feel they have to be perfect and feel like letting their child use technology is not being a perfect parent. I can’t understand why though.

  2. July 8, 2017 / 5:29 pm

    Every generation has its bogeyman and ours is the internet or tech in general. It’s fear of the new and fear of losing control that turns into a self-righteous dismissal as a form of self preservation.
    Few things are inherently bad. Smoking and car pollution are. Tech isn’t. Any activity done to excess might be harmful but it’s still very hard to measure scientifically. I’d be worried if my boys sat reading books all day and did nothing else. Just as I’d be worried if they watched TV for hours or painted or played a flute. Variety is healthy for mind and body, as much for adults as children.
    I think that, as with lots of activities, parental supervision and some basic risk assessment is needed but playing a game on an ipad can be stimulating (and educational if you can’t simply bear them having fun). I thought your point about complaining about tech while being online yourself was hilarious. Some people have an irony bypass. My kids are 3 and 1 and the elder has been using an ipad with supervision and for short periods since he was two. Still mainly loves running around the garden naked chasing the cat.

    Good article on this issue here https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/behind-online-behavior/201604/what-screen-time-can-really-do-kids-brains
    And safety tips at http://www.netaware.org.uk

    • Harriet July 10, 2017 / 7:17 am

      I love this. I couldn’t agree more – we’re big supporters of tech, but also big supporters of reader, running in the woods and general life. I think it’s important to have a good mix, but tech isn’t to do discounted!

  3. June 22, 2017 / 7:41 am

    If the world is going Mattix I am screwed as I will NEVER fit in a Leather bodysuit. Like you say I think everyone should have their opinions and ways to bring up their kids it’s just the holier than and judgemental attitudes of techphobic parents that is difficult. It’s also a dangerous attitude as our children live in a world that’s half online, they will likely use it in future jobs and if they know how to use the internet well and it’s an open discussion point rather than a tool of witchcraft they will be safer, not hide things. My other half is very anti Tv so for 2 years we had none except the occasional phone Netflix. Now we have 2, my son loves a movie and will watch something every couple of days and loves my phone games. We have the transformer game too. He also has hot wheels, pens and regularly climbs trees…he also eats sugar, occasionally says bugger and wants to be an Avenger when he grows up. I’d say a pretty rounded boy lol xxxxx

    • Harriet June 26, 2017 / 9:46 am

      Ha, I’d be right there with you… leather is NOT forgiving!

  4. February 28, 2016 / 11:29 am

    I think they definitely have their place, like on long journeys for example. We downloaded a couple of films during a 5 hour trip to my folks the other week and it was a life saver, I got to just peacefully look out the window and not play with toy cars ๐Ÿ˜‰ x

    • Harriet February 28, 2016 / 12:55 pm

      Absolutely Fritha, a time and a place ๐Ÿ™‚ x

  5. February 26, 2016 / 11:36 pm

    haha I love this post! I agree that it is quite ironic when they share these articles on FACEBOOK!!
    My daughter is only 1 (today!) and I’ve already got a folder on my iPad with games for her, she loves them and I think it is really good for her to learn to use these things as when she is older you probably won’t be able to get buy in life without being a tech geek!

    • Harriet February 28, 2016 / 1:13 pm

      Haha thanks Leanne – yes, the irony runs deep there. My kids were both bought iPads for their 2nd birthdays because they were taking over the household one. I know it seems extravagant, but it has been (and continues to be) really beneficial to them both educationally and for fun. H x

  6. February 26, 2016 / 8:28 pm

    An iPad is essential when we go out for a meal with the kids! They don’t use it the whole time, but it helps if they get bored when waiting for their food and we’ve run out of things to I-spy ? Live and let live I say!

    • Harriet February 26, 2016 / 8:46 pm

      Absolutely! Live and let live, no scowls when you see mamas with and no grumbles when you see them without. x

  7. February 24, 2016 / 12:35 am

    OK I am one of those mums who gve my phone over to a tantrum throwing child ha and yes my 5,6,7 year old all have their own ipads – but the thing is technology is such a huge part of our lives and they are learning by the games they play and of course they are time limited but when you have 6 kids and your trying to cook for 8 and giving the ipad for 20 mins peace so you can cook is a lifeline to me

    • Harriet February 24, 2016 / 3:00 pm

      Yes! Power to us Emma!!

  8. February 23, 2016 / 11:46 pm

    In my handbag to go out, I pack nappies, wipes, books, a lorry, a few other toys and A KINDLE FIRE. I want to eat my meal in peace.. and god damn it I will! lol. If my Son wants to play with the things around him he can do, and if after a while he gets agitated and he wants to watch a bit of Chuggington then he can do that too. He explores the world around him and he’s active, but I’m sorry, today’s world isn’t always child friendly, so they are forced to be silent and sit still in situations they wouldn’t have had to in the past.

    • Harriet February 24, 2016 / 3:01 pm

      I couldn’t agree more – there is absolutely nothing wrong with letting kids have tech, its about mixing it up and giving children a chance to learn different things, in different ways! x

  9. February 23, 2016 / 11:09 pm

    I am with you on this – the iPad is a saviour at times! It of course just needs to be controlled. My son has learnt a lot from using different apps

    • Harriet February 24, 2016 / 3:02 pm

      Exactly Rebecca, it’s so true! They learn a tonne, and there is nothing wrong with combining technology with additional learning/entertainment.

  10. February 23, 2016 / 10:42 pm

    You know, I won’t click on articles with ‘parenting’ suggestions any more as it just makes me either angry or sad. No reason other people’s parenting choices are any of our business unless the law/child safety is on the line in which case it’s a police matter and not helped up internet opinions anyway.

    • Harriet February 24, 2016 / 3:03 pm

      I should be more like you Erin – I was quite put out by the same article 4 times (!!) from parents who are friends, and I just found it really annoying. I mean, to each their own right? If you don’t want to use tech, cool, but don’t tell other’s how awful they are for letting them use it. H ๐Ÿ™‚

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