When I was pregnant I was so clueless. I had all of these ideas of how I wanted to raise my child. Everything would be organic. Snacks would all be homemade. He would play with educational toys and my god, never would I ever let him play with my iPhone or iPad.
I didn’t want to have a child addicted to a phone so young. To be honest I didn’t want to have a child addicted to a phone period. No matter what age. For some reason I had deluded myself in to thinking that I could raise children in the age of technology without them actually using technology. I got up on my high horse and said I wouldn’t be one of those parents. Ohhh how I have eaten my words.
I am not even sure how it happened. It just happened. Somehow my iPhone landed right into the hands of my little one. Then all of a sudden Youtube was on and was playing a string of songs and cartoons especially catered to my son. I really have no idea how this happened, honestly. All I know is that it started to happen more and more frequently than I had ever planned.
A trip in the car where Gabriel would scream for attention, out came the iPhone. The times when mummy was trying to cook, clean, work and Gabriel just wouldn’t give me 2 minutes. Oops out came the iPhone. When nothing else would distract him, out came the iPhone. Until it started to become a problem
I was in the kitchen trying to get dinner ready which, if you know my son, is an absolute nightmare because whenever he sees any sight of food he goes mental. You would think I had been starving him for days. Anyway as usual my little one started making a fuss. Getting a little bit flustered I gave him the iPhone and he sat there happily while I continued to cook. Then I stopped in my tracks. ‘Did he just scroll through Youtube and change the video’?
I must have been imagining things. He must have changed the song by accident. He is only 1 years old. But as I continued to watch him I was horrified to see that my 1-year-old son had mastered the iPhone better than my 52-year-old mother! There he was with his tiny finger casually scrolling youtube and choosing which videos he wanted to watch.
Later that night my horror continued. I received a text message telling me I had successfully signed up to Bounce Games ( I will never get my £1.50 back), had realised that Gabriel had sent gibberish texts to 2 of my friends and found a whole bunch of baby selfies in my photos! Selfies!!!!! Heres me thinking he was just watching Tinky-winky and Lala prance around a garden. I had no idea that my 1-year-old was posing for selfies!!!!
I didn’t think I would have to worry about iPhone usage until my son was at least 14 years old but here I was with a toddler who all of a sudden started demanding for it. Whenever he saw it he would point and say Ta. When he managed to get his hands on it, he would immediately come to me asking for Youtube then would proceed to roll around the floor if I said NO. It came to the point where we had to stop using phones around him because as soon as he saw one, he would make a beeline for it.
We are trying now to limit his exposure to the iPhone and Youtube. But its a tricky situation. I feel like I am trying to fight a battle I cannot win. I am torn between not wanting him to be so tech savvy at such a young age. At the same time I love the instant peace and freedom it brings.
I would love to say that I will never let him use or play with an iPhone again. That I am taking a stand against screen time for kids. That I am not a lazy mum who sold her soul to the devil that is technology. The truth is I am. I don’t have the patience nor the courage to fight it. I just want 5 minutes to myself so I can shovel that last piece of cake down my face without having to share it with him.
I can imagine a lot of mums are shaking their pretty heads at me right now. However I think we need to accept that this is the age of technology and that our kids are going to grow up a lot differently than we did. Smart phones, iPads, and social media are apart of this generation and there is nothing that anybody can do about it. All I can do is embrace this new way of life, and pray that I am not screwing them up somehow.
Whats your thoughts on this? What do you do in your household?