It was a moment that made my parenting ears turn forty-five degrees. My internal emotions resonated and applauded.
This morning I participated in an engaging and interactive presentation by Alice Sharp, a leading authority on HL (Home Learning) and playfulness. I learnt there are many ways to adapt and grow a simple nursery rhyme (more than you would think!) and I also learned traditional homework is not as effective as originally thought. Playful learning is back with a bang and please don’t think about buying the next iPad for your child, you can dispose of them now 🙂
Parenting is a huge responsibility and the greatest gift it has given me is the opportunity to create the best version of myself. Children mimic their parents, more is caught than taught, and I’m forever inspired to improve my own habits. I mull on the impact Ipads, apps and mobile phones have on society, let alone out kids. It eats me up and this morning was a tipping point to yet again acknowledge my power as a parent to influence the life my daughter’s create. I am extremely motivated to take home learning and creative play with my daughter’s to a higher level.
I’m guilty of allowing iPads, iPhones, and YouTube in my daughter’s reach. I’m not guilty of letting them have free roam. I don’t. In fact, I’m very strict. Creative playfulness, the outdoors, and leading a meaningful life without technology is not new, it’s just not as common as it used to be. Like Alice pointed out, brain surgeons need amazing hand and muscle agility. This does not come from playing on the Ipad, it comes from children using the seventy muscles in their arms and hands in creative play.
What is my point? My point is….we all have a CHOICE how to engage, play, educate and nurture our children. I’m relieved to know my daughters are not addicted to technology. I thank my father for not allowing a television in the house as a child. It’s helped shape who I am today. Sure, I have relented somewhat with my children, however, it’s also me that has the guilty pleasure of loving my iPhone a little too much. The research is out there, children are not benefiting from using technology as a play tool. We are both plagued and blessed by technology. It’s a love/hate relationship. Just like sugar, are you refined or not? Yes, a strict balance is the key. I’m challenging myself to compete harder with the digital world and strive to engage my children with the amazing abundance of real world learning. I’m challenging myself to harness a bit more of the life I enjoyed before my mobile phone became attached to my hand and the internet sat in its palm. Surely I can compete with a screen. Please join me (and Alice’s noble crusade). We will beat this epidemic together.