This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Carnival of Natural Parenting hosted by Code Name: Mama and Hobo Mama. This month our participants have written about their families’ policies on screen time.
Two weeks before my daughters first birthday, I absent-mindedly hand over my beaten up iPhone for my daughter to explore while we wait for our order at a restaurant. I love watching her smile as her own image lights up the home screen with the push of a button.
But, when my iPhone is returned to me, I realize that its off… out of power.. BROKEN. After my initial disappointment of having to invest in a new phone, the soul crushing realization that I have just lost all my photos sets in. If your first question is “don’t you use iCloud?” (like the know-it-all over-dress Verizon employee) then my frustrated and misplaced reaction is: “of course not, you think I have time to think about (or even know about) such things with a baby under one!” So now, my favorite snapshots of me and my baby - some of our most spontaneous images from pregnancy to yesterday - are now locked within the hollow container of my phone.
The experience has made me reflect on not only the way we use electronics in our children’s daily lives - how much time we and our kids spend on that technology, but also, how we view our children’ lives through technology.
I was mad at my self as I remembered so many of the 450+ pictures I loved to scroll through. Why can’t I remember the details of too many of them? Why wasn’t I more present in that moment, why didn’t I soak up every second of those memories, why did I count on my iPhone more than myself to remind me of all those beautiful times?
I’m not a huge picture-taker and while I enjoy my electronics, I can live without my phone for quiet a while (not-with-standing losing photos on said phone). So I was disappointed at how emotional distraught I found myself at the hands of technology. Since then, I’ve spent some time thinking about the balance of technology in my life. The sense of connection and voice that I feel verses the dependence. The ability to capture some of my most special memories versus fully experiencing those memories without the distractions of technology.
The happy ending to my story is: while I will never get back many of those 450+ photos on my iPhone, I have amazing families and friends who have helped me get back about 100 photos from the last year, including some new, different ones (but great either way). It doesn’t change the fact that I lost many of my favorite photos, but its helps. While I lost the photos, I haven’t lost the memory of those special times with my daughter.
Lastly, I thought I would share this timely video that resonates so deeply with what I discovered in the two weeks without my phone:
Visit Code Name: Mama and Hobo Mama to find out how you can participate in the next Carnival of Natural Parenting!
Please take time to read the submissions by the other carnival participants (list will be updated throughout the day on October 8):
- Has Technology Taken Away Childhood? — Jennifer at Hybrid Rasta Mama worries that technology is intruding on the basic premise of childhood - active play in all forms! Join her as she takes a brief look at how play has changed as technology becomes more integrated into the daily lives of our children.
- Fostering a Healthy Relationship with Technology — Jenn atAdventures Down Under describes her children’s love of screen time and how her family implements their philosophy and policies on technology.
- Kids Chores for Tech Privileges — Crunchy Con Mommy shares how tying chore completion to iPad privileges worked in her house to limit screen time and inspire voluntary room cleaning!
- Screens — Without the benefit of her own experience,sustainablemum explains her family’s use of technology in their home.
- Screen Time - The Battle of Ideologies — Laura from Laura’s Blogexplains why she is a mom who prioritizes outdoor natural play for her kids but also lets them have ample screen time.
- The Day My iPhone Died — Revolution Momma at Raising a Revolution questions the role technology plays in her life when she is devastated after losing her phone’s picture collection from her daughter’s first year.
- Finding our Technological Balance — Meegs at A New Day talks about how she finds balance between wanting her daughter to enjoy all the amazing technology available to her, without it overwhelming the natural parenting she’s striving for.
- Raising kids who love TV — Lauren at Hobo Mama sometimes fears what children who love screentime will grow up to be … until she realizes they’ll be just like her.
- No Limits on Screen Time? Is that Natural? — Susan at Together Walking shares misconceptions and benefits of having no limits on technology and screen time in their home.
- Screen Time — Jorje of Momma Jorje shares what is currently working (and what hasn’t) regarding screen time in her household.
- Positive Use of Technology with Kids — Deb Chitwood at Living Montessori Now tells about her family’s experiences with early technology, shares helpful resources from around the blogosphere, and speculates on what she’d do as a parent with young children today.
- why i will never quit you, TV — How Emma of Your Fonder Heartcame to terms with the fact that screen time is happening, and what balance looks like between real and virtual life for both her toddler AND herself.
- Technology Speaks — Janet at Our Little Acorn finds many uses for technology - including giving her child a voice.
- 5 Ways to Extend Children’s Screen Time into Creative Learning Opportunities — Looking for a way to balance screen time with other fun learning experiences? Dionna at Code Name: Mama shares 5 fun ways to take your child’s love of favorite shows or video games and turn them into creative educational activities.
- What parents can learn about technology from teachers — Douglas Blane at Friendly Encounters discusses how technology in schools enhances children’s learning, and where to find out more.
- 5 Tips for a Peaceful Home — Megan of the Boho Mama and author atNatural Parents Network shares her favorite 5 tips for creating a peaceful home environment.
- Technology and Natural Learning — Kerry at City Kids Homeschooling writes about the importance of technology as a tool for natural, self-directed learning.
- Babies and Technology — Jana Falls shares how her family has coped, changed their use of, relied on, and stopped using various forms of technology since their little man arrived on the scene
- Kids and Technology — Rosemary at Rosmarinus Officinalis talks about the benefits of using technology with her preschooler, and includes a few of their favorite resources.
- Using Technology to Your Advantage: Helping Children Find Balance — At Living Peacefully with Children, Mandy discusses how technology can be used or abused and gives a few tips to help children learn balance.