My daughter will be 2 years old in a couple of months. I beam with pride every time I think about this upcoming milestone because if I’m honest, I wasn’t sure if I was going to survive the first 2 months, so to be here, all body parts fully functional and my sanity intact is a huge deal for me! But just when you start getting cocky about how far you’ve come and how it seems to be getting easier, life gently reminds you that there are still lessons to be learned and your work is nowhere near done. Enter the pre-two year old tantrums! “Terrible Two’s” they call them, or for the more optimistic of us, the “Terrific Two’s” are a complete misnomer. First of all, the terribles actually start at 18 months but I am naively hoping that by age two, the terrific will magically appear.
That said, this is the age that is believed to be appropriate for toddlers to begin interacting with digital technology. With this new life stage, as always for a first time mom, I’m questioning, worrying, researching and looking for signs that I’m making the right decisions. The world of digital can be daunting, with technology advancing at a pace that is hard to wrap your head around. Our children are digital natives, a culture in it’s own right, that us parents need to understand and embrace in order to help our little ones thrive in this world.
Digital Technology can be a blessing and a curse and it can almost be too easy for parents to use it as a parenting crutch where the TV becomes a loyal babysitter and video games replace friends. Studies have linked overuse of technology with developmental delays, childhood obesity and there is always that fear of online predators and cyber bullying if you take a wrong turn on the internet. It’s not all gloom and doom, however, parents need to educate themselves on what is appropriate use of technology, how to integrate it into learning and playing responsibly and how to harness it’s power for good.
In the same manner that I approached my fears about breastfeeding, the colour of her poop, thumb sucking vs pacifiers, weaning, bedtime routines and achieving milestones, I am launching myself into a journey of mastery of all things digital so that I can be equipped to expose my baby to the best of it and help her to understand that it is a tool that is essential for her to function and excel in today’s society.
So here’s my tip for this Tuesday:
Be a good role model. In these formative years, children learn by watching us. Monkey see, Monkey do. Limit your use of digital media and devices and let your children see you reading a book, playing sport and having positive face to face interactions with other people, then sit down together and engage with good quality, age appropriate digital content. Together, being the operative word!
Until the next post!
Ciao for now!