Being a parent is hard. The constant worry you aren’t doing it right, or doing it differently to your friend or colleague, or sometimes in my case parenting both my children differently! One approach for one might not work for the other, just because they are both yours. Worrying why your child isn’t at the same reading level as the girls/boys in the class who are actually now free readers, and have practically read all of the Harry Potter books at age 6… am I not practicing enough at home? Do I get a tutor because I don’t know what a split digraph is, therefore how on earth am I meant to teach it?
I am finding now as the years go on there is so much more to worry about, so much more pressure and so much more to be judged on.
We all do it, judge. We all feel it, judged. It is so easy to pass comment about someone else’s parenting style or feel like someone is talking negatively about yours. I don’t think the pressures of todays society help.
How do you roll with current times without either isolating your children or giving them too much free rein with their technology. My 2 year old asks me to open the amazon app on my phone and search for his favourite toys so he can browse (by himself). He can work an iPad better than my parents. My 6 year old asks me daily if I can google something I don’t know the answer to. He wants the xbox turning on as soon as he is up.
I hate to admit it but it worries me! Should it though? When I was their age I didn’t have iPads and laptops, I had 4 TV channels and a gameboy with a giant light and magnifying glass over the screen so I didn’t strain my eyes. None of this air play to the TV what I am viewing on on my hand held device. Times have changed and kids now are different. They are being brought up in a different world.
How do you teach them how to search online safely for things? How do you make sure they aren’t using social media inappropriately or behind your back. I know I am not quite at that point yet, but I will be one day. There is just so much more to take in to consideration.
Sometimes when we go out for dinner and the kids are driving us crazy, we might sneak Peppa Pig on youtube and prop the phone against a glass. Some people would look over and think thank goodness they’ve shut up. Others will look disapprovingly and discuss how back in their day they wouldn’t have been able to have done that. What did they used to do? Was the free packet of crayons and an activity pack enough to please? Because for my kids it isn’t! Or was going for dinner just not as regular? I do remember more pubs having a soft play area that you used to check your kids in to and pick them up 2 hours later! That would be lovely… no one would trust them now though. Imagine just dropping your kids off with one teenager supervising everyone… that is way too risky!
Despite all the new age worries, we still have to do “old school” parenting; brush your teeth, go to bed nicely, share, say please and thank you etc. Today I had a debate with Freddie why it was important to wear his seatbelt correctly.
What we try and do is limit both their iPad useage for browsing/youtube, encourage them to play (nicely) together outside rather than sit indoors and watch TV, go for days out (which becomes so costly) and try and take them for walks/bike rides to get some exercise/fresh air. I mean sometimes the odd threat might come in, e.g. if you don’t start playing with these toys rather than sitting watching TV I’m going to chuck them all in the bin… but we are only human after all.
I suppose what I am trying to say is everyone is just trying their best and doing what they can to get by as easily and as pain free as possible. Same principal as parenting in the 50’s, just using more technology now.
Until next time, Natalie xx