1. Jessica

    My husband once asked me my stance on giving our future child things like cellphones and iPods. I told him my issue with iPhone’s, iPods, iPads, etc. for a young child is the “I” part – encouraging a kid to be insular when they need to be learning how to interact with others. Not that I’m opposed to letting children have private time or privacy – I just want to be careful about when I think they are ready for such devices.

    It’s crazy though, isn’t it? You don’t want to disconnect them from technology too much, since children need to know how to work computers and all of that by grade school now.

    Great post!

    • Those devices are like a vortex that suck you in… and leave you “i”solated, just like you’re saying. I was not in favor at first–the Wii discovery came about when I wasn’t home one day and someone else was watching him. It’s a difficult balancing act of keeping them in touch with the times, but keeping them in touch with humans, too. We’re trying.

  2. I think it’s so very important to monitor them as they learn to use these devices. At some point they’ll earn more freedom, but I think parents staying educated and up-to-date is vital in this day and age. Good for you!

  3. Totally monitor them. A good friend of mine had something set up with the phone company so ever text his daughter sent he also got. Invading privacy…yes…but also keeping an eye on our kids. We want to trust them but it’s a difficult world we live in and there is to much available to them online and beyond. I wish you the best! Love the name of your blog too!

  4. There’s no denying that technology is integrated in to our lives now, and that our kids have an entirely different perspective being ‘digital natives’. As a teacher and parent, I believe its crucial to teach kids how to responsibly use technology as well as provide enough monitoring to catch any danger signs. If we constantly hover and kids don’t learn how to manage it alone, they will never be independent users. However, I’ve seen that most kids do know the right/wrong uses and will generally do the right thing.

    • There is a fine line between hovering and helping. But kids also have a hard time figuring out what’s right and wrong and while they should make mistakes to learn the difference, technology makes it possible for some very large mistakes with major consequences. We’re all working our way through this together!

  5. Don’t stop monitoring those devices as your kids get older… It’s so easy for adults to impulsively post stupid and potentially dangerous things, imagine how much easier that click is for tweens and teens…

  6. Raising children in the age of information overload does present its problems, however, the ability to monitor them is also increased. My parents had no idea who I was on the phone with! And they likely should have!

  7. There’s definitely a lot more devices to monitor these days. My kids are still young but my oldest is definitely at the age where her friends are getting cell phones and their own tablets.

  8. My mom monitored all my phone activity! Before cell phones my mom would shamelessly pick up the other landline extension to make sure I wasn’t talking to a boy or to inform my friends that it was my bedtime and when she got me a cell phone she went through the bills and highlighted every call I made at a late hour or any number I spent over 30 minutes talking to and confronted me to find out who I was calling! It was a bit over the top but she always knew who my friends were and to this day I’m a bit paranoid that Mommy will find out if I’ve been abusing my phone privileges! My mom was definitely on the stricter side but I love her for it and think I was better off for it as well.

  9. jodifur

    I also struggle with getting my son a phone but we also do not have a landline and I need to get him one before he can be in the house alone.

  10. i definitely agree that today it makes more sense than ever for people to monitor their kids and technology. there is just so much out there – too much. i hear about 8 year olds having cell phones and i’m beyond baffled. i assume they’re already on computers enough…they don’t need one in their pocket too! i feel like an old geezer saying this but i grew up having to ask my parents before i could watch tv or use the computer and i think that’s still an excellent rule to keep in mind today.

    • Well.. my daughter is 8 and has a cell phone. But that’s because we don’t have a landline and I want her to be able to get in touch with us if something happens when we’re not home. As for the computer–they only use it for a math homework website. No need for that yet.

  11. My poor children! No cell phones, no Ipads, in fact we may just move to little or no communication with the outside world. They use technology at school, and at home for school work, but they don’t have cell phones, although they are beginning to ask. My thinking on this is that now they don’t go anywhere without an adult who has one. For now they are buying this, for how long I don’t know. And when that changes, oh yes, I’ll be monitoring every bit of what they do. For their own good, because it’s my job to keep them safe, and teach them how to be safe themselves.

    • You make a very good point. My concern was that, if something were to happen with their caregiver while I’m at work, I wanted my daughter to be able to reach us. My sister watches them and has 2 very young boys. It was a difficult decision, but without a landline phone in the house, we went for the cell phone. She is not allowed to take it outside the house though.

      We all need to do what we feel is best for our kids. I agree–it our job to keep them safe and teach them how to be, as well. Good job!

  12. I don’t have kids yet, but I don’t blame you for keeping a close eye on your kids. I don’t know what ages your kids are now but I think their privacy becomes their own when they’re no longer living in your home. When my nieces and nephews first created Facebook accounts when they were, in my opinion, too young to do so; I asked them for their passwords so I could play on their accounts for Farmville. I was really monitoring their inboxes. They knew I was watching them but people online can have a way of worming their way in and opening up a world they should know nothing about.

    …that’s my two cents… monitor them until they leave.

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