Monday, January 21, 2013

Questioning My Parenting

We bought the Bambinos a Kindle Fire.

They're only two.

For the first time ever, I'm questioning whether we're doing the right thing by purchasing it for our children. It hasn't even arrived yet.

Just before Christmas, I teased a friend that her 5 year old was spoiled because she received one for Christmas.

I'm such a hypocrite.

Getting them a Kindle goes against everything B and I stand for. We both believe that in some ways, the modern convenience technology brings is ruining our children.

We've had countless conversations about how kids no longer hang out and talk with their friends at the mall, they're constantly on their phones instead. Texting is keeping kids from learning phone etiquette and from writing coherent emails. We don't want our children to fall into the technology trap. We were the parents who decided not to give them any toys with batteries. 

On the other hand, Peanut is really good at puzzles after playing Monkey Preschool Lunchbox. He was doing puzzles at 18 months or younger which to me seemed pretty early. Bug has learned his colors in large part to other apps I have on my Kindle whereas before he would only identify red. We worked with them on both of these things, but I think the apps gave them a variety that our toys and books at home didn't.


There are times that I'm not proud to admit we've given Bug my phone or Kindle to watch a TV show to keep him calm and sitting in his chair when we're out to eat or watching Seahawks games. I know it's not realistic to expect a two year old to sit still and not want to walk around the length of a football game but I always question whether or not we're doing the right thing by letting him watch my Kindle.  I don't want him to be one of those children who cannot sit and visit with his family but needs to be entertained instead.

I wonder if we're turning our back on our beliefs just because the Kindle is a nice convenience to have. I didn't even set out to buy them one, the day before their party my dad called and said they'd bought the Bambinos clothes but wanted to get them something else. He asked if we wanted certain toys for them. Before I knew what was happening, I said, "They have enough toys but we've talked about getting them a Kindle so an Amazon gift card would be nice." And that's how it happened. 

What do you think? Would you buy your two year old a Kindle?

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10 comments:

  1. I don't have kids, but if I did, I personally wouldn't buy them a Kindle. It's just that number 1, it's real expensive and 2 years old don't always know how to be careful with things and 2, I feel like there is no need to put an electronic device in front of them when books and educational "toys" can be used in the same capacity. It's hard with our society now a days being so "modern"... but I just feel like children of all ages have gotten consumed with it.

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  2. I so here you on this! We have an iPad and Braden (almost 3) totally taught himself how to use it. We do limit his use, and it's a life-saver on a road trip, but we didn't buy it FOR him, but I'm not against what you've done. Braden has always been very good and gentle with it. Also, I don't think you honestly get an opinion (read above comment) unless you have children.

    I agree with your philosophy about technology. I want my boys to grow up knowing how to interact with people properly and not rely on all that technology is. I find me and my husband with our iPhones in our hands too much and we really need to curb that.

    You're the only one that can make this decision, good luck!

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  3. Probably not. Elle just NOW is starting to use her DS and she is 5 1/2. BUT Wes (2 1/2) does love playing games on my Iphone and I don't mind letting him. He loves hearing the animals make sounds and doing puzzles. So that is your call. I would probably get it for "me" and let them play with it:)

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  4. The girls are only 18 months and thus far do not watch tv or play on the computer not because I am against it but because they just don't want to. The only thing they enjoy about my iPad is pressing the power button. So I think it is definitely what feels right for your family. I see nothing wrong with them learning young how to use technology and benefiting from what it has to offer. It's funny because it seems as though its a catch 22- we don't want our kids consumed by technology but at the same time we want them to keep up with the times and not fall behind their peers. I think just remember to limit their time on it and make sure they do get to experience actual toys and books outside of the electronic version. As well as make sure they interact with kids their age away from technology. I miss the days when kids played outside and used their imagination now it seems every kid I see outdoors is walking around with a cellphone in their hand. In the end the decision is yours and yours alone and only you can determine whether or not your boys are benefiting from the device.

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  5. Phew....that's a tough one! Like other people have mentioned, only you know what is best for your own kids. As for us, I think we would choose to wait a little while. Yes, Robbie occasionally watches something on my Kindle Fire or plays with "Elmo Calls" on our iPhones, but he doesn't really understand how to use the devices yet (he ends up exiting everything...lol). He's not to the point where he really WANTS to sit still and use something like that. We HAVE talked about getting him a Leap Pad when he's older. We love Leap Frog stuff and you can get games and books on there and it's all educational. His cousin (who's almost 3) just got one for Christmas and it's a really cool toy-very sturdy and kid-friendly. David is funny and has VERY strong opinions on this subject (he doesn't want Robbie to think he needs to constantly have some sort of gadget in his face), so it'll be interesting to see what we end up doing in this area too. :)

    There is no right or wrong answer (as every kid is different and has different ways of learning), I think as long as kids are still getting plenty of exercise and reading "real" books and playing with actual toys, a little technology doesn't hurt. Every parent has different preferences on stuff like this, and I would never think less of someone who has an opinion that's different than mine.

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  6. Would I buy one for my two year old? no, would I buy one for my 8 year old. No.

    I have a pretty strong position on digital devices and my kids. I know people who shove an ipod/ipad/ds in their kids hands to shut them up, and they are school aged now and can't make eye contact and they have poor motor skills. I'm trying to save my kids from being over tech-y and I have started limiting my own digital time in front of them. I don't know. I'm pretty strict when it comes to what they watch and I don't let them have electronic gadgets.

    But... that's just me.

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  7. Girl I def don't think you should be questioning your parenting. I think people put too much pressure on themselves as parents and expect that they will never need a little break or a little down time. I think it's perfectly fine to use this as a way to develop their skills. I feel like I know the kids who weren't allowed any electronics when they were little.... They are the ones who are addicted to video games now.

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  8. My five month old is already starting to grab my iphone ! I think I would buy certain things like a kindle for my kiddo. I think it totally helps learning! :) :) And, it's cute to watch them play! LOL

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  9. My kids are 2 and 4 and each have iPods. Well, actually they are old iPhones. I don't think they use them for longer than 1/2 hour a week though. We bring them on super long car rides or use as a last resort in a waiting room or out to dinner. I think with the way the world is changing, it's totally ok to be up on technology as long as it's time monitored and age appropriate. I'd never give it to them to play while we're outside or at a relative's house.

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