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Parenting Better (or Worse) Through Technology

For the past few months, I’ve been participating in BlogHer’s Family Connections citizen journalism project as a Momspotter. Basically that means I tweet a few times a day with the #momspotting hashtag about how I use technology in my day-to-day parenting life. I’m sure you’ve seen me talk about everything from battery hogging handheld devices to the big search for our family desktop and that one time I was tweeting about Bejeweled Blitz in the preschool pickup line. (I love Bejeweled Blitz.) And so! Now I’m going to tell you a few things about me. Because this is my blog.

If you like the meme, feel free to do one yourself and leave a link in the comments or tweet it with the #momspotting hashtag. Or don’t do it. No pressure, I promise.

1.       Which expensive electronic device do you most often let your older children abuse or your baby drool on?

Our family desktop. Now, to be fair, it was purchased (just recently) with the knowledge that it would be used by the kids. But sometimes I do cringe when I walk in the room and they’re actively touching the computer screen with their grubby little fingers. What? They’re my kids. I can call their fingers grubby if I want to! I researched pretty darn hard and well (we went with HP… again) and feel kind of secure that they won’t totally trash it to smithereens. We do have rules. Of course, we also have a rule that they should use their inside voices. That works well. Not.

But he looks cute, doesn’t he?

Playing the Computer

Also? I now have the smallest computer screen (on my laptop) in the whole family.

2.       How many take-out restaurant numbers do you have programmed into your phone?

Two. Both are local pizza joints. Why only pizza? That’s the only take-out in our area. Welcome to Small Town, Ohio. Do I get bonus points for also having the library programmed in? I do? Sweet.

3.       How many hours of television do you so totally not let your kids watch a week?

I really hate this question. I don’t really know a daily, in-and-out total. I pay attention to what they watch. I make sure we’re doing other things. I observe their cues and schedule No-TV Days when they are needed. But do they watch more than the recommended none for LittleBrother’s age and two hours for BigBrother’s age? Yes and mostly. Don’t judge me. The Bible says not to. (Name the comedian.)

4.       Do you think people who say “we don’t watch television” at playdates but really mean “we just watch DVDs” are lying liars from Liarville?

Maybe. We do prefer DVD’s to television simply because of my background in working for television news. Commercials are evil. They are. You can argue it with me but the truth is that they are made with your/my child in mind and they do, in fact, want our kids to say, “Oh-em-gee, Mommy! I haftahavethatRIGHTNOW!” That said, DVD’s do count in screen time so those who think they’re not letting their kids watch “television” by going that route are slightly delusional. Or Lying McLiarpants from McLiarville.

5.       How many miles have you driven with your child and not one device of electronic entertainment in a single car trip?

Seven. It should have been six but have you ever driven two small children, by yourself? A bathroom break takes eons. Also, if the radio counts, then I’m out. And? I won’t be doing that again. That was silly.

6.       What’s your record for calls to the pediatrician or Ask-a-Nurse in a single day?

Three. To be fair, the first and second were because I accidentally hung up on the nurse when I hit a button with my chin. The third was to inform her that, yes, he did puke again. All over me. And that we would be coming in. With my laundry.

7.       What’s the sexiest thing your husband/partner could text you after a hard day?

Your wine is waiting. Or, your wine is waiting and the kids are asleep. Or, your wine is waiting and the kids are asleep and I bought us a hot tub and installed it while you were out and, you know, you look really sexy in that bathing suit of yours; I’ll be waiting. That said, the last option doesn’t fit in a text message so I can safely say that’s never going to happen.

8.       What’s your favorite iPad joke?

The iPad is not a joke. It is beautiful. Gorgeous. And luxurious. But, no, advertising, even in the form of press releases, has no affect on us, does it?

9.       What’s the dumbest parenting tool, gear, gadget or device you ever bought?

A potty with a foam seat ring. You know what happens with a foam seat ring? IT SOAKS UP THE URINE. Do you know what that smells like after a week or two? Also, add in the stroller that came with the “travel system” that we purchased for our first son (BigBrother). Not only was it too big and poorly made but we almost never used the thing.

10.   How many years will it take for your child to become more tech-savvy than you?

Have you met BigBrother? He’s working on it. It may be his life goal. Or, wait. His life goal right now is to be a Space Ranger. If he accomplishes that, I would say he’s more tech-savvy than me/us by far. That said, I’m pretty on top of things. I don’t want to think about having to ask them to fix my computer/TV/hover-craft. I’m the Mommy, dang it.

I encourage my readers not only to follow the #momspotting hashtag and join in the conversation but to visit the Family Connections forum. We’ve been having great conversations on everything from Facebook to how we can possibly have time to blog/tweet/etc if we’re actively parenting to making our marriages better… online. I have really enjoyed the give and take of information, ideas and laughter. You should join in. (Also, if you’re touched by adoption, stop in the adoption forum where I’ve been spear-heading some discussion.)

I’m working on this project through the end of March. If you have anything you’d like me to broach either on twitter or the Family Connections forum regarding technology and parenting, drop me a comment, email or tweet.

4 replies on “Parenting Better (or Worse) Through Technology”

Will you hate me if I say that my little kids really do not watch tv? Not tv, not DVDs, not youtube on the computer nothing. We let my son when he was around two and a half and now he pretty much just watches hockey games and the occasional movie on DVD. I swear to you I am not a Lying McLairpants from McLiarville. :)
.-= Upstatemomof3´s last blog ..Gomen Wat (Ethiopian Greens) =-.

#5?

Bwahahahaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!!!!! Oh, you people. You are SO lucky to live in the era of electronic diversions for children. Thinking back, I honestly don’t know how we did it. And, cross-country plane trips with two boys? Lots and lots of books & puzzles just doesn’t seem like an effective answer. I say use whatever you’ve got in your arsenal. They may never thank you for the absence of memories of hours of boredom, but did our kids ever thank us for the “educational” memories of those many hours of cross-country cornfields?

As to #9, I’m with you on the foam potty seat. However, I also rue the day I bought the heartbeat baby monitor–you know the one that was supposed to keep me from running in and checking on my stomach-sleeping-insistent baby 1,343 times a night. The idea of it beeping the no-movement alarm scared me so much that I turned it off and never used it again.

I believe that is what we call a Poor Purchasing Decision. Also, paranoia.

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