Friday, May 3, 2013

Technology for Kids - A Slippery Slope?

So my baby, my little girl, my first born told me she wants an iPod for her birthday.

Her 7th birthday.

My first reaction was visceral.  Of course not.  How could a 7 year old have her own iPod?!  Wouldn’t she want some stuff to go with her American Girl collection? 

And then I started to ponder her wish.

She is on the computer a lot and not just to play games.  She is on there researching former presidents and first ladies, you know, for fun.  She researches writing contests. 

I say this not to brag, but to show her maturity.  (Well, maybe brag just a touch - come on, I’m her Mom)!  I guess it isn’t any wonder she isn’t into dolls all that much.

Well, I take that back.  She is into American Girl dolls, but not so much to play with them.  She enjoys them for the purpose to learn about World War II.  (In fact, she tossed around the idea of having a World War II theme birthday party).  Please also note that her other favorite period of history is the Revolutionary War.

But I digress.

So when I asked her what she wanted for her birthday, she hemmed and hawed that she would like some books and notebooks  . . .  which I know she would love, but I asked her what she really, really wanted.

When she took a deep breath in and whispered desperately, “An iPod,” I knew I had to quiet that knee-jerk no and listen.  

Marie has never been the type of girl to play with dolls, and even though there is a finite time period in which she will even be interested in them, that just isn't her thing.

She loves to read and create.  And she loves technology.

I would rather her have something that she really wants as opposed to some things that she kinda sorta likes.

But is this a slippery slope sliding towards self-entitlement?  Towards the end of her childhood?  

Or is it a great opportunity to teach her limits and boundaries?  A chance to teach her how to navigate safely through technology-centered world?   

So after much thought and discussion, we have decided that she can ask for gift cards for the Apple store and she can buy an iPod.

I think.  

Or am I making a mistake of gigantic proportion?  

Or am I over-thinking this too much?

Do your kids have technology?  How old are they?  What kind do they have?  What kind of guidelines do you have for them to use their devices?


RealMommyChron said...

This is definitely a tricky topic (hence your trepidation) but I think you are making the right choice. You know why? Because she is YOUR child and YOU know her and the situation better than anyone. (You and her daddy, of course.) You are obviously great parents and obviously thought this through, so whatever the answer is, it is the right one. :)

Erin Janda Rawlings said...

Best. Comment. Ever. In the history of comments.

Thanks! xoxo