We live in the world where technology is so readily accessible and often incorporated into our daily lives that we forget how much we rely on it. There are even exercises that challenge us to be “unplugged” for a period of time. It seems like forever ago when I worked in the field, in the most remote of areas, where we only have access to satellite phones and worked solely on paper with no computers. When’s the last time you hand-wrote a correspondence? Don’t get me wrong, technology is not a bad thing, after all, that’s what gives us back up of back ups of our photographs :). We just have to learn to moderate our use of it.
But then I
should shouldn’t talk! When we had our first baby, we tried really hard not give Elliotte any screen time (tv or iDevices or computer). And when we did, it was the right content in small quantities. Then we got on the slippery slope of using screen time as bargaining chip for eating meals, for travel. Then Elliotte got better and we were able to pull ourselves out of that hole. Now that Janie is going through her toddlerhood, we find ourselves taking the easy way out and letting her (which means both) have music clips and interactive story games on our iDevices so that we didn’t have to hear the screaming and battle the non-eating. Yes, the word on the street is tv may impair a child’s development and squelch their imagination but we are playing the how much is too much game and hoping our total screen time is *just* under that!
Here’s an excellent example of our reward system. With Elliotte, we had a sticker board for every time she successfully went on the potty. Today, Janie was encouraged to try (she’d been hot boxing the living room). She asked for “twinkle little star” and we told her “WHEN you poo poo on the potty, THEN you can have your song.” (see how we didn’t say no?, we don’t fail all the time as parents!). She understood that because she successfully started and finished her business in the toilet. I say that’s a big “W” for us. We’ll worry about how to wean her off this reward system later on! When we celebrated, Elliotte came bolting into the washroom to give her a big hug and then proceeded to share in the bonus viewing of the music clip with her, stench or not! Ah, the tolerance of kids :).
Please click on to find out what Gina has to share for her slice of life with five :)!