Wednesday, 13 January 2016

As a parent have you the right balance? Gadgets verses Everything Else!

I recently read this: 

'A problem facing many parents:  The amount of time children spend on tech. We would love to hear your thoughts on the subject, do you have time limits?'

This question made me question myself and what I do with my sons, also how life has changed since I was little girl.

Both of my sons adore technology, it does not matter if it has a touch screen, plays games or you can watch You Tube on it.  It is usually connected to the WiFi thou.  My boys love it, they wake up waiting tech and the go to bed dreaming about tech.

Early last year I made a new rule, no tech on school nights.  It has been going very well, my boys know the rules, they do on occasion ask for their gadgets but on the whole it's no tech during the school days.

Christmas and New Years has just passed, they more or less spent every free moment glued to a gadget.  Because 'MY RULES' stated no tech on school day.   

They had been brought some great Christmas presents.  James finally got a DS, this went down a storm.  He is a huge Super Mario fan and has been asking for a DS for a couple of years.   When Grandad turned-up with some superb presents, a super Meccano set and a just as excellent K'NEX tub.  There was a distinct lack of enthusiasm from both boys, which I felt sad about.  

However once we 'me and their daddy' got stuck in. They have really enjoyed using their imaginations and we made some interesting things.  Both boys needed some encouragement.  However a few week down the line, the tubs are dusty.    

Thinking back to when I was growing up in the 80s, this was not even a question.   It would of been about watching too much television or not going outside to play in the park enough.  

I lived with my mum for most of my younger years.  She had one television at home, thats right one TV and we had to get-up off the sofa to change the channel. Back then we had 3 channels.  BBC1, BBC2 and ITV.  I was allowed to watch kids TV in the mornings on the Saturday.   Programs like Number 73, Wacaday, I loved Mallets Mallet and Why don't you?  

After school I could watch the TV while mum cooked dinner, Grange Hill, Tony Heart, Blue Peter. 

In the evening we would watch Dallas, Tomorrows World and the Krypton factor.  However my mum was not a massive fan of TV it was more my older sister's influences and I wanted to be just like her. 

My dad didn't have a Television for years, however he had gadgets, lots of them, cameras and computers.   One Christmas he bought me a ZX Spectrum the one with a tape deck.  It would take ages to load games and crashed often. However he kept this at his home.  Thinking back I never played with them much, could be because he was using it.


My favourite toys, were a couple of Sindy dolls and Lolo Ball.  I loved colouring, painting and drawing.  I had a huge collection of rubbers and playing cards. 

My mum would take me out into London a lot, we would often go to Hyde Park and see her friends. We also had a dog and walked him every ever.  

My dad would get me most weekends and we did the tourist things, museums, exploring London together or going to the countryside to visit his friends.     

These days I wonder if I have the balance right.  Both sons get plenty of home work.  No TV until they have finished their home work.   

I try to take them to lots of different places and events during weekends, if we don't have plans we have to take our dog for walkies regardless of the weather.  

Having Tyson is a great incentive for our family to go out daily.   Otherwise they wouldn't want to leave the house some days.

More recently James has started Taekwondo and both boys also have just started swimming lessons on the weekend.   So they are active, however they love gadgets.  Gadgets is their go to thing.  Gadgets work well as incentive too.  

However I am nervous, as they get older will these be the only thing they want to use?  Who can say. 

Then next question, when do they start playing 'outside' unsupervised?  Then I'll be begging them to come home and play their DS! 
What are your thoughts, what was your favourite toy or Television show when you were growing up? 

Thank you for stopping by!