Raising a child in the 21st century

If like me, you’re raising a child in the 21st century, one of the things that will most probably play a large part in your child’s life is technology. Gone are the days when you could entertain your child with  simple things lying around the house. Now a days children as young as 2 know how to use an Ipad and children can send emails by the age of 5. Last week, I was watching S play on an Ipad when he started closing all the running applications. Even I don’t know how to do that with one of the new Ipads. My not-even-2 year old taught me something.

There’s often a lot of controversy surrounding the use of technology and how much is too much? Many a times I see posts and pictures on Facebook of how children grew up in the 70’s/80’s and 90’s and how it is so different from the way things are now. And while I do love the way I got to grow up and the freedom I had, I myself am a huge fan of modern technology. And when my son sees my head buried in my phone writing an email or a message, how can I then expect him not to be curious about what my phone can do?

Where I think it becomes a problem is when you have children who’s heads are constantly down, playing a game or watching a show. When technology replaces conversation and online gaming replaces outdoor time…fresh air, runs, walks, climbing, monkey bars. I think there’s much to be learnt from playing outdoors and falling and hurting yourself but getting back up again.

Are we, 21st century parents, who were raised with all the freedom, now holding our children back? Are we overprotecting them from life’s natural lessons?

This is something I think all parents today need to think about. As long as it is not raining, S is outdoors everyday. Whether it’s walking in the park, at a playground or hanging out with his cousins in their garden.

Where do you draw the line when it comes to how much technology your child uses vs. natural outdoor play time?