Toddlers, Tech and Parenting…Digital Style
By Michael on February 8th, 2012
It snowed in NY a few weeks ago. Being January, that shouldn’t have been eventful. Being January 2012, it was. It was also a day my daughter had music class so I checked the class Facebook page on my phone to see if class had been cancelled and as it had been, I went back to bed. No one else in the household even stirred.
This is a far cry from the scene 20 years ago when my mother would plant both my sister and I in front of the RADIO to listen for ‘Notre Dame High School’ to be called among 25 minutes of other school announcements. If we missed it, we had to wait for the next round and sometimes, we’d even finally hear our school called in the car, dressed in our uniforms, turn around and return home…boots already covered in snow. No, we didn’t walk to school both ways uphill in the snow but the disparity of the experiences exemplifies just how much technology has changed the logistics of parenting.
I’m sure it is quite obvious that parenting would change along with the technological times. As I’m new to this, these ‘firsts’ really highlight those changes. In the hospital, they give you a pamphlet that says to not let baby sleep on their stomach and not to prop bottles…things that were common when your parents were just ‘parents’ and not ‘grandparents’ too. As I feel that most people’s initial experience with parenting is based upon the last time they were in a parent/child relationship (as the child,) the pamphlet was a great thing. Twenty years ago, though, the term ‘mommy blogger’ would have been a verbal fumble and pictures were generally still taken on film so no matter what your comfort level is with technology, your experience with it as a parent is limited. There isn’t a pamphlet on parenting with smartphones, the internet or even cell phones. You simply learn by experience (and that of others because after all, we are in an age of near instant connections!)
Yesterday, we asked our followers on Twitter how they used technology to make their parental lives easier. One teacher takes cellphone pictures of her kids’ homework assignments and texts them home so that parents know what’s due. Another response is from a Dad uses his iPad to conquer resistance to naptime. Seeing my 10 month old already starting to use my iPad, I know we will continue to see new ways to use these devices.
How do you use technology as a parent in your daily life? What lessons have you learned and where does an old fashioned magnet on the refrigerator still work better?
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