Honestly, this was one hard post to write because the topic hit home for me…
Over the last couple of weeks, I’ve been extremely frustrated with my daughter. There were moments when I wanted to take her tablet and throw it in the bin because she wouldn’t listen or talk to me while she was glued to the screen.
I hid the tablet. She found it. I hid it again and she found it again.
I know, by now you most probably think that I have a brat of a daughter.
I thought so too.
I kept blaming “technology”, how addictive it has become and might even have sworn at Steve Jobs more than once…
Growing up, I practically lived outdoors. I would only return home before dinner because running outside with my neighbours and learning math while playing hopscotch was so much fun.
Am I bringing back memories to your childhood?
But today, things are different.
Regardless of our feelings towards tablets and smartphones, these devices are here to stay. Even though we might think it’s destroying our children’s childhood, we have to leverage it, so that our kids can have a brighter future.
Technology is advancing every single day. In a few years from now, jobs like bank tellers, taxi drivers and receptionists will be replaced by robots.
My daughter isn’t to blame in this situation, it’s me.
She sees me sitting on the computer and the phone for most of the day, so she thinks that it’s fine if she does too.
She’s grown up surrounded by technology and parents who use it every single day, so she doesn’t know how it feels like not to have a TV or tablet in the house.
I admit that I haven’t been setting a good example for her. I feel as if I have failed at motherhood.
I used to judge other parents about this but here I am now fighting my own battles with my 6-year-old.
I should have set rules and boundaries a long time ago but instead, I gave her the freedom to use the tablet whenever she wanted.
I should have introduced her to educational apps and videos but instead, I allowed her to watch another kid open a big giant egg that got a million views.
This afternoon I hid the tablet again but then I realized that it can’t be hidden forever because there’s always my cell phone, my laptop or the TV that she can use…
Technology isn’t going to go away, and Digital literacy already plays such an important role in defining your child’s ability to succeed, both in school and throughout their lives.
We have to focus on innovative, practical and progressive teaching methods that arm our children with the skillsets that they need in order to succeed throughout their education and as they enter the workplace.
Instead of only criticising devices, let’s rather opt for a view that marries education with technology which can enhance, enrich, and augment learning by introducing active and engaging learning activities across all grades. The ways to use technology as a tool for education are nearly endless but it’s also important to limit screen time and monitor what your child watches.
I’ve learnt from my mistakes and I want to make sure my daughter gets the most of the technology that she’s privileged to be surrounded by – so I have decided to explore the world of digital literacy through Vodacom e-School – Vodacom’s curriculum-aligned digital education portal over the next couple of weeks so I can get her excited about learning again with the technology she already loves.
I know that she might not fall in love with this new rule of mine immediately but in the long run, it’s going to teach her so much more than just unboxing cool toys and making d.i.y slime.
Motherhood is never easy, but we learn every single day on how to be better and do better. Don’t be hard on yourself, there are always ways to improve and learn from your mistakes.