Thursday, April 7, 2011

iGeneration (or My Kids Need to Get Outside More)

Do you ever get the feeling that your kids might have inherited a particular gene from you, rather than their other parent? I'm not talking about hair or eye colour, or height, or skin tone. I'm talking about one of your traits that may, or may not, be a positive attribute. Maybe you're a neat freak and your child is showing similar tendencies. Or maybe you have to read the last chapter of a book before you decide whether to read it or not (yes, I have a friend who does this. Weird!). 

As for my kids, let me put it to you this way, all 3 are more likely to be found in front of some kind of techy electronic device than lovingly stroking a motorcycle with The Chef. Now, I know kids these days need to be computer savvy, 10 year old Thing 1 uses one at school and often for homework. This doesn't explain how Thing 3, by age 18 months, had worked out how to unlock my iPhone. At age 2 she recognised the app icons for "her" games (mostly games sourced for 4 year old Thing 2), and could even navigate to the video files and find an episode of In The Night Garden to watch. All without direction. I'm not sure whether to be stunned by her obvious genius, or concerned for her future.

Friends were stunned when, during a visit just after Thing 3's 2nd birthday, she trotted out of the room and came back with my backpack. Before I could ask what she was doing, she'd unzipped it, pulled out the iPad and, in one smooth movement, was on the couch watching ITNG. Surely that's not normal?

I do admit, though, that I indirectly encourage her because it's so cute. I probably spend more time looking for kiddy friendly apps than I do useful, grown-up apps. I swear they're for the kids. Really truly!

I fear we may have crossed the line though. Thing 1 asked for Plants v Zombies, so I downloaded it for him for the iPad. Thing 3 can now often be heard calling "Zombies ate my baaiins!!". Should I be more worried about being questioned by her daycarers, or the future therapy bills?


  1. Yes! I have 2 iKids, too!!
    Sometimes I worry about it....then I get over it.
    They're fine, they're clever, they're fit, they're's a new generation, let's embrace it! :)

  2. I only got an iPad recently, and recently I left my Miss 4 to play on a colour in app. Next time I went to use it, there was her ladybug 'creation' as some sort of iPad wallpaper!

    But definitely the best thing my kids ever learnt at an early age, was how to independently use the remote to turn on the TV to ABCKids in the morning. *snooze* :)

  3. Well, my kids never were, but it sure looks as if my grandtwins are heading down that path. (You do realize that if Sean does indeed call you it will be in the middle of your night? LOL!)

  4. Thea, I agree. I do sometimes feel a bit guilty about the time they spend on electronic games. But as long as they still get outside time, old-fashioned play (dolls, blocks, etc) and plenty of reading then I'm happy. It all plays a part in modern education IMO.

  5. My kids spend far less time facing screens than some of their friends, but they still spend quite a bit of time in front of computers/game consoles etc.

    I think kids these days absorb the ability to use tech gadgets by osmosis. I can remember my youngest, barely old enough to stand upright, reaching up onto my desk and grasping the mouse for my computer perfectly - a skill we are still trying to teach to his 67 yo grandmother.

    Our kids are growing up into a world where they will need to be comfortable with tech gadgets. I think it's important to make sure that there is a balance, and I'm not all that keen on plugging kids in to game consoles when they are out to keep them quiet, but I don't think that all things with screens are evil.

    Healthy, active kids with a range of interests won't be damaged by spending time playing games they enjoy on an iPad.

  6. My kids have ipad touch thingies and I have no idea how they work. I don't know what my kids did in waiting rooms before they had them!

  7. I too have iKids, one more so than the other. They will play on one of the assorted devices for a while and then take off outside to jump on the trampoline or climb a tree. They both love to read the old fashioned way too. Tis all about balance.