I’ll just go ahead and say it: I’ve bought my kids tablets for Christmas.
I’ve had so many incredulous looks and even a “I don’t like that” proceeding that utterance that I feel as if that is some kind of sick statement akin to “I’ve bought my kids machine guns for Christmas”.
But it’s not. And if I need to defend myself (do I? I feel I do): a) they are not going to have unlimited access to them, b) I am getting the use of my iPad and laptop back (which they hog), and c) last but not least they are gonna LOVE them. Win win.
I am for the record a hands on mum (again, why the need to justify?), I cook, craft and read to my kids. My kids in turn love to cook, craft and read. And game and watch. Yes, they love to watch cartoons (gasp!) and play computer games (bite me!).
Yes, I know Steve-bloody-Jobs’ kids weren’t allowed a lot of tech time (mine get about up to 2 hours but not every day), they had big, calm, talk-filled family dinners *instead* and that’s great, fine and dandy. I totes respect that and I also respect all the nannies and cleaners that made that even more calm and nutritious. But I do let mine use tech, and it doesn’t make me a bad parent.
Let’s talk about this word *instead*: let’s just break it down here. It implies (and this is the underlying implication) that you are either the “type” of parent that is strict on tech, has family dinners and are generally holistic with their kids OR you let them use tech and are slack and lazy. Something smacks of judgment here, and that’s how I feel these days, very judged.
It’s also made me realise that I’ve done some judging. I’ve judged kids on phones and consoles on buses when they are with their parents (something I think I wouldn’t do). How the heck do I know how that parents’ day has been? How do I know how that kids day has been? Don’t you ever want to just play, or chat over messenger to relax? Does that make any of us bad or – worse – unintelligent, because that is also one of the underlying messages here: that uneducated, lazy parents let their kids use tech. Clever, concious middle class ones don’t. And there you have it, smack-bang judgment.
So with all these subtle messages I feel that I’m being judged as a mindless, lazy parent by giving my kids tablets. And I don’t like being judged, especially for my parenting. Ouch.
And at the same time I know I’m anything but.
So, I have to use these feeling to analyse my OWN judgment, and also surrender and just remember that
And they are gonna LOVE them 🙂 (as well as the books, crafts and other “real” toys they get)
photo credit: <a href=”https://www.flickr.com/photos/evilpeacock/13235511974/”>evilpeacock</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/”>cc</a>