Archives for posts with tag: technology

I stumbled across this the other day and loved this presentation from a 12yr old on the state of education…look at what our children are capable of given the chance to love learning! I hope my boys will appreciate the time and thought i am giving to their early learning experiences…only time will tell!

Ban under-threes from watching television, says study | Society | The Guardian.

It’s been a long time since I found time to blog, but I am compelled after 3 articles have jumped out at me. This is the first – an article espousing the idea of letting your under-three watch TV. I personally agree, and have done my very best to live a screen-free existence with my little one (who has just turned 3 btw). That has meant he has only a brief idea of the joys of technology, however even though I have tried to limit his exposure he LOVES playing on anyone’s phone and can’t help but be drawn to devices whenever an unsuspecting friend gets theirs out of their pocket! He has also watched an animated film or 2 but seldom enough that he doesn’t bug me about watching one when he is bored, for the moment!

I was interested in one of the comments which tries to say the research doesn’t include the recent phenomenon of apps disguised as fun games but really educational programmes, and therefore he was planning on letting his 12month old free use of his iphone. I was particularly interested in this as I can’t imagine anything more sad than a tiny little person with her head stuck to an iphone. I don’t think he has even considered the tantrums he will have on his hands when she is expected to hand back this “toy”. And here ispeak from experience. Whenever my eldest has been exposed to a device of any kind, getting it back from him can almost always cause a huge tantrum. When I am offered strangers phones on trains to help distract my son in the middle of a “mood swing” I turn them down as it is just prolonging the inevitable, when the kind stranger has to leave the train and wants his/her phone back!

And this is the problem, we think we can quick fix everything – including our child’s introduction to this amazing world we live in full of this amazing technology….all the time forgetting that on an evolutionary level we still have stone age brains and we need to learn how to do things through experience… and real life is not conveyed through a device.

I got my first phone when I was 19. It was a great thing. I have some idea of what life was like without being at the mercy of my phone. I would like to allow my child that same freedom. I don’t think that is unreasonable.

I just had my first local community screening. A small group of parents, who are active in the community running local children centre’s and working for charities like Homestart, took a couple of hours out of their busy lives to watch and give me some feedback on my film Babyhood. I was nervous about how it would be received by professional parenting and child support workers, and felt a huge sigh of relief to receive a round of applause when it finished!

We then animatedly discussed many of the issues raised in the film, from smacking and the need for non-violent discipline to technology and whether real life is boring in comparison, to the isolation of new mothers, and the rampant consumerism we are surrounded by. We also discussed the fact that there are so few decent male role-models for children and the impact this has.
Fittingly it was shown at Tell It Parents Action Group headquarters which has a lovely hand crafted sign outside that reads: “it takes a community to raise a child”. I will post a picture of this when i next walk past!

From the discussion I also realised that on a campaigning note the film could be used to highlight our terrible government policies towards maternity and paternity leave and pay, in fact just for being a parent.

It seems so obvious to me that the government is missing a huge trick. In the name of economic growth they want women in work, and yet they know that bringing up our children well in the first 3 years of their lives is now scientifically proven to be essential to a person’s well-being. We know that the better a child’s early years, then the more rounded an individual will join society in their adulthood. With teenage children being penalized by the media and the government, it really is time for us to “hug a hoodie” (thank you Plan B). Alienating our children is not going to fix the problem, we need to show them some love.

I would be very interested to know how many women and men would choose to stay at home for the first few years if there was a way of making those ends meet.  It seems so wrong that the responsibility to raise our children effectively is left to the devices of our poor economic policies.

In our modern lives, what really is essential? Do we have to pay £50 per month to watch TV? Do we have to buy our children the latest gadgets and video games? Is a ready meal really all we can manage, when to buy the ingredients fresh would be healthier and cheaper? (another thank you here to Jamie Oliver) Are our mobile phones so important that we need to spend hundreds of pounds on them? Not to mention the monthly fee’s. Do we have to surround ourselves with stuff, stuff, stuff?

What also struck me was when one parent said the thing with letting small children, i.e. under 3 play with technology was that once they had seen and experienced all that stimulation on a screen, they were effectively hooked. “you can’t take it back”. So while we have a tiny amount of control in their lives (0-3), can’t we keep them away from these devices and allow their stone-age brains to grow without short-circuiting from all that stimulation before they have had a chance to develop the other crucial bits…?

i took both my boys, and have to thank them for yet again allowing me the space to pursue my passions! peace x