Tuesday, July 26, 2011

iParenting vs Back In My Day

We are living in a Digital World and I am a Digital Girl. Are you singing now? I am.

The other day, as I sat writing a blog post with one hand on the iPad and the other cradling Mr Cranky Pants my darling boy, I marvelled at our Digital Age. Or iAge. Whatever.

It got me thinking just how much we rely on technology to help us parent, or more specifically, to stay sane as we parent. I am an iParent. I was going to say Digital Parent, but it's obvious I'm one of those, I've got the button in my sidebar to prove it.

So let's do a little comparison, shall we? iParenting vs Back In My Day (well actually my mum's day, but it doesn't have the same ring to it)...

iParenting: Vibrating rockers and swings will lull your spawn to sleep so you can do more important things, like play on Twitter
Back In My Day: Rock your own damn child. You're lucky to even have a cot that isn't a death trap

iParenting: Buy some book apps and record yourself reading a story ONCE. Your child can now play it ad nauseum without you having to look away from Neighbours or put down your tequila
Back In My Day: You will read See Spot Run, complete with character voices, until you are ready to give Sally and Sam the big green needle

No drooling on the iPad
iParenting: Let Walt Disney do the hard work on a long trip by whacking in a DVD or two in your air conditioned 4x4 Range Rover Sport
Back In My Day: You play number plate spotto til you reach 100 or Punch Buggy until someone is bruised and/or bleeding on the back seat of the orange and tan Datsun Stanza with no aircon and broken windows that don't roll down

iParenting: Shove an iPhone in to their tiny little hands with some animal noise app and let the little suckers learn about farm life while you Skype with your buddies. When they become bored and irritable (irritating?) threaten them with "I will stop your download if you don't behave!"
Back In My Day: Visit an actual farm and vainly attempt to stop your child stepping in sheep poo. Then scold the child when he runs around chasing his sister with the poo-shoe. When they're both exhausted battle to get them in the car with threats of "We won't go to the video store if you don't behave!"

OK so it's an exaggerated comparison, but you get what I mean.

Do you iParent? What 21st Century tools do you use to make the job easier?

29 comments:

  1. Right now, Wombat is doing acrobatics/having a breast feed and I am using one hand to type. He's a little cutie, but if he bites me one more time with his newly acquired fang, I'm seriously* going to contemplate iParenting via a closed netbook to his backside.

    *Not that I would actually do it, it just makes it slightly more tolerable to cope with the biting to think about it.

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  2. Well, let's see, there is the smart phone to amuse them while waiting in lines, doctors' offices and restaurants.  The Nintendo DS to avoid siblings killing each other.  The Wii, which also provides them with physical activity, because when Mario jumps, they jump too!  Plus the "educational" computer, which can give a blissful 30 minutes of peace.  

    And the two DVD players in the car - with headphones - to cope with road trips longer than 30 minutes.  Combined with the DS, the Leapster and hand-me-down iPod, I am now again free to enjoy road trips.

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  3. I kick it old school, I still make my kid read actual books.

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  4. What happened to the days of just playing in puddles, and in mud? Now it's all toys and fancy play gyms. I used to play with frogs and tadpoles.

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  5. Well, with a hubby who is a Mac-ophile, it is impossible not to be an iParent, or rather would take way more discipline to do it old style. I am very conscious of it even though we probably let our toddler play with the iPad and our old iPhone (full of kiddie apps and videos) more than we should. Hubby's attitude is if she has access now, within reason, she'll probably be blase when she's older and at school where kids want the latest gadgets. Maybe flawed logic? 

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  6. themotherexperimentJuly 26, 2011 at 2:37 PM

    I actually haven't done any of that iCheating yet. does that make me a dinosaur?

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  7. Ha Ha. I parented the old way when my kids were young. Which meant sending them off in their oldest clothes to the creek where they'd sled down the slope into the mud and water on a piece of old cardboard for hours while I did what I wanted at home. Ahh, those were the days. Picnics in the backyard, "painting" the fence with huge brushes and buckets of water......of course that was summertime. Winter days were a little different. But there were four of them, plus friends so they occupied themselves a lot.

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  8. i think i may be parenting the old fashioned way too. i figure we survived our childhood, quite happily without any of those things and so my children can do the same! i don't see the need for them to have DVD players in cars or know how to use apps on my phone (which I don't know how to use!!) or many of those other things. You make a good point glow, parenting sure has changed :)

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  9. Hmmm. I'm not a very good iparent :(
    Not vibrating rocking things here, or iphones (But i really want one. You hear that Apple, i'd like an iphone please!), or car DVD players. My poor kids are "i"-deprived. 

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  10. A Daft Scots LassJuly 26, 2011 at 5:21 PM

    There's ONE way to encourage Tummy Time.  

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  11. what we need are ikids added as an app that you can turn off now and again

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  12. I'm the ultimate digital parent - my laptop IS my baby :)

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  13. I routinely get kicked off my iPad and/or computer by my 2 1/2 year old. She rocks up, says "I show you", and proceeds to, well, show me. She navigates to abc for kids and amuses herself for ages. Then I get to do things like eat lunch in peace, cook dinner, or, heaven forbid, use the toilet without an audience. Love it!

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  14. Bahaha know that feeling! Just cos you've got a new tooth, doesn't mean you have to try it out on me!!!

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  15. You've got a bit of everything going on :)

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  16. We're rather book obsessed at Casa de Glow, old school rocks x

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  17. Not allowed to catch taddies any more :( 

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  18. Orrrr she'll just expect to have the latest and greatest of everything because she was 2 months old when she got her first iThing. Oh wait, that's the kid in the photo :P

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  19. No you're not a dinosaur :) While I will definitely be using some iPad apps with Tricky, I can't wait for him to go out and play and get dirty learning. But do not ask me to give up my other modern conveniences (Twitter and dishwasher)

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  20. We used to draw all over the fence with chalk then "paint" it with brushes and buckets of water too!

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  21. It's definitely changed. I see myself somewhere in the middle right now. But our kids are a bit too young at the moment to really take advantage of the apps and DVD players, so I wonder if we'll change our tune when they're 7/8/9 and get bored more easily?

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  22. I got a free vibrating rocker from the lady down the road. The battery would last for a few minutes and then it was just a rocker. Glad I didn't pay for one :)

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  23. They'll be standard issue in all hospitals soon, I'm sure.

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  24. I will disable push notifications on my iKids. 

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  25. I always marvel at how clever kids are. How do they know these things? I know I was like that too and now I've turned in to my mother and can't work the media centre.

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  26. Hmm let me see ... do I iParent? I bought my not even 2 year old an iTouch so he has something to do in the car. iTouches are educational right? They're educating me ... my 'baby' can navigate his way around it better than me on my phone!

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  27. I use Dora and Diego... Enough Said! 

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  28. I do iParent. More so now with three kids than I did with just one but my girls still read books, they still go out and play on their slide and in their cubby house and on their trampoline. They still get muddy and collect what they think are tadpoles. They still ride their bikes. BUT I do think they have an awful lot more stuff than I ever did. On a whole though I think we're pretty balanced here. :D

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