You're the Parent

I think, being an educator whose job is to introduce others to new technology, there is a perception that my kids spend all of their time using technology. That could not be further from the truth. Every night our kids read books before bed, usually the paper versions. They hardly ever ask to read on an iPad. I've tried bringing home a Sphero and introduce them to coding and robotics, neither of which they latched on to. Like most kids, they want to watch TV. Recently we've been allowing them to play games or read books on our Apple TV or iPad in lieu of watching a show. Then they at least have an engaged brain. But they still are just as likely to head out and play with the neighbors. They enjoy the diversity of activities that we've provided for them. So when my wife and I hear parents say they can't pull their kids away from a non-educational activity, it frustrates us. Who is the parent? We had the YouTube Kids app for a while, but our daughter kept finding adults trying to relive their childhood by pretending to open new toys. That's just not a lifestyle we wanted our kids to aspire to. So we took the YouTube Kids app off our iPads. Yeah, she complained. But she got over it. Because there are other things in life for kids to do. It is up to each family to mold the childhood of their offspring. It's frustrating when you hear parents say they can't do x, y, or z because their kids are "addicted" to certain videos. Stop. Be a parent. Addiction is a very real and serious issue for many people. Kids are not addicted to videos. Be a parent and re-direct their attention and excitement to something that will engage them in positive learning opportunities. They'll probably get mad. But they'll also get over it. You're the parent.