The funny thing about parenting is….that I found myself saying ‘When I was your age, I didn’t even know what an iPad was, let alone when I was 20.’
I said this to my 2 year old who was demanding the iPad so she could watch Youtube. Yes, I let my child watch Youtube. To be fair, she could teach me a thing or two as she really has the patience to go through it and find something she likes. She doesn’t have any screen time during the day-she’s at nursery, so she uses the nursery rhymes online as her wind down time. It’s a break from Peppa. But it really got me thinking.
I was always one of those parents who said ‘My child will never use an iPad or an iPhone’. I distinctly remember saying this when I was 3 months pregnant. I wanted my child to read, and flick through books and use their imagination.
Fast-forward 2 years and 6 months.
Sometimes I actually want to eat out without a tantrum. Sometimes Peppa needs to come to the rescue. Sometimes Little Baby Bum and their constant stream of nursery rhymes needs to be played to cheer a little lady up(and many other kiddies I’m told too!).
We can’t really expect our children not to be so caught up in the devices we use all the time. From the day Paige was born she was on FaceTime. We lived in London and all the family lived in Ireland. It was a quick and easy alternative to turning on a computer and kept everyone in the loop daily and they got to witness her every smile/kiss/laugh and even hug. It meant that Paige could hear/see all her grandparents/uncles/aunts/cousin etc.
And as time goes on, how can we really not expect our children to know how to use these devices. It’s kind of what they’re reared on nowadays. So many families are all over the world, and this just makes it easier to keep in contact. Youtube allows children to listen to other languages, visualise bright colours and potentially animals they may never see or even food (as per some of the random shows with random toy veggies). Another favourite of ours is SnapChat. Yes, we are slightly addicted, but it’s amazing. We post some of the random stuff we do and Paige usually shows off her vocal abilities by singing all of her favourite nursery rhymes. And I get to record this with just a click of a button and it pocks back into my pocket when she’s done. I get to share these with friends/family and followers. I get to have these little snippets stashed away online for her to see when she’s older and she will be able to chart her growth with a picture for every day.
Paige also has a tonne of books and I’m not kidding. She has the complete Mr.Men collection. She has pretty much all the Winnie the Pooh books. She has poetry. She has picture books. She has fairy tales. She has everything. The Hungry Caterpillar is in there, along with Paddington Bear. We’re not picky. We try to cover off all bases. And we love reading them. We don’t read stories online. We love a feel of a good book in our house. I don’t even have a Kindle. I like Paper/HardBack. So Paige has a good strong balance of screen and book time-so I don’t need to worry-just yet(watch this space-it all gets worse as teenagers doesn’t it!).
But have we lost a little bit of a sense of the old school? How many people just pop these pictures on the ‘cloud’ or a ‘hard-drive’? I know I do. And it’s such a pity. I should just print out my favourite and pop it in a frame. But most of the time I don’t. When I do want to pick out my pics to get them printed, out comes the hard-drive again and I need to trawl through thousands, upon thousands of emails(I’m actually not kidding). I approximate our collection of Paige to be around 50,000 photos – APPROXIMATE!!!
How times have changed.
One of my friends from school snapchatted me some old pictures-you know the one’s from the days when we actually had to print them out and before the whole thing of having a digital camera, let alone a phone with a half decent camera-yeah those types of pictures. Pretty old-school. But in hindsight, it was only 13 odd years ago that these pictures were taken. That’s not a long time. Technology has just grown so quickly and it’s become cheaper and more accessible-which is fricking amazing.
The fact that she did this on a day when I was looking back through old pictures of Paige just made me realise that I need to print more. I am doing my photo a day challenge, which I had to remove from Instagram as I was getting too concerned with making them pretty and perfect as opposed to really ‘real’ Paige. It’s working out well, but these are just small pictures. When I move, I can’t wait to go through all my old photos. I have heaps too of times from school and early college. Times when we didn’t really take selfies and posed stupidly for the camera, as we didn’t care. They either got printed or they didn’t. But one thing was for certain-they would only ever live on in the home of the person who printed them-either to be seen or not.
It’s absolutely amazing that I can capture every single moment that I need to, it’s amazing that I’ve got such a collection of photos/videos-all thanks to technology. But I just need to actually print them out.