Parenting

10 things that are worse for your child than playing on the ipad

2 November, 2015

*ping* Another notification from someone about the problem with ipads. This time ipads are responsible for humankind never stepping outdoors again. Yep, our children will be the last generation that played outside.

I guess people think I like this stuff because I wrote a book on families rewilding and often post about how good it is for kids to get outdoors and fun things to do outdoors and all that nature shizzle.

But you know what? I think the ipad is a TOTAL bogeyperson.

(HA bogeyperson! What do we want? Non gendered language for bogeypeople! When do we want it? Now!)

We set up technology as the enemy of nature and it isn’t. Taking the ipad out of our child’s hands is a quick and easy answer to a multi-faceted problem, and it is a disrespectful, short-term and narrow minded solution.

I can think of many, many things that impact our child’s well being and relationship with the earth more than playing on the ipad.

Here are ten."oceans and ipads shouldn't be pitted against each other"  - you are ot a bad, neglectful parent if you love seeing your kid having fun with screens :D

1- Being told the things they love aren’t important
This one is so close to my heart, because I am learning as I parent. I had a list of things I would never “let my child do” but as her different likes and loves unfold she is showing me that it is not up to me to tell her what she should and shouldn’t love. I have some knowledge and wisdom from my longer life, and I will share it non coercively. Celebrating with them over the things they love is a far better way to developing a trusting relationship with our children. Imagine if your other half didn’t like you doing your favourite hobby so huffed and puffed around yo every time you did it? That would feel so awful, that constant undermining, and it would hugely damage your relationship.

2- A parent that doesn’t partner with them
Instead of telling them the things they love suck, the invitation is to partner with our children. To help take their love of something on the ipad and take it to the next level. It is to trust that technology can open huge doors for learning. They love Happy Feet? Perhaps they are working through themes of loss and grief and reuniting (I *may* be talking from experience…) how about entering into imaginative play with them and the penguin stuffed toys, or getting all the penguin books out, strewing about some penguin costumes and seeing if they want to take Happy Feet to a deeper level? The potential is for a huge connection, begun by an ipad…

The invitation is also to PLAY with them. Not use the ipad as a babysitter but take it in turns to play, as another child would, to find out about their favourite game. Last week we had a huge car journey and I sat in the back and played Ramona’s favourite game, The Dolphin Show, for 4 hours straight. We were trying to get a million points in order to get the dolphin that farts rainbows. After about 3.5 hours, she turned to me and told me about something cruel someone really important to her had said to her, and described how her heart had been hurting ever since. I had observed that for a few days she had been really quite emotional, but I hadn’t been able to get to the bottom of it. Spending time jumping through hoops (no really, we were jumping our dolphins through hoops) really joyfully (it is THE BEST GAME) deepened our connection to a point that she felt able to fully open up.

3- Learning Latin
Some schools still teach that. Shiver my timbers. If we really want to target something that stops children playing outside it should be the thing that ties them to a desk for several hours everyday (635 hours a year for under elevens!) learning stuff that is often age inappropriate, doesn’t recognise the important of play and the biological imperative for movement and may well never be used again in their lives. (*cough* algebra *cough*)

While we have chosen to unschool in order to foster a more curiosity led education, schools around the world have successfully changed; schools in Finland have reflected research on this and introduced far healthier learning foundations in State schools, there are Forest Schools in Germany. You know what would make the BEST target for a child’s time not spent playing outdoors? It is the classroom.

4- Parents that don’t make an effort with nature
Here is my bugbear…. all this reminiscing about our natural childhoods (er, mine was spent watching Going Live) and freaking out about Nature Deficit Disorder, without realising that the responsibility for our child’s relationship with nature lies with us! You know what? If WE love nature, and prioritise it, if we run barefoot in the forest and climb the trees and lie and look at the stars, this love will so likely become infectious. Children don’t learn by us telling them (the ipad is the enemy of nature, darling!) but only by modelling.

10 things worse than ipads for children

Technology and Nature are friends! Thanks Annie from Fable and Folk for the picture.

5- Double Standards
Oh, by golly, if I read about Steve Jobs not letting his kids play with an ipad one more time I will send Apple a scary barbie in the post, I will, I tell you!!! The double standards! OH MY!! This is the kind of unfairness that I think could really damage a child’s likelihood to grow up caring about fairness.

6- Having nowhere to play outside
How about targeting society’s obsession for turning every spare bit of land into malls, instead of handing them over to the people for nature places? (Okay that is a little bit Daily Mailish… let me pull back from the extremisms.) Society is narrowing the places that childhood has been traditionally spent, either by building on them, or risk assessing them (try swimming in the many beautiful swimming holes in the UK without getting the “Do Not Swim” sign pointed out to you) or disallowing ball games from them. How about giving children access to the streets for free play?

7- Having little say over the activities in their life
A child is a person. They deserve to get a say over their activities. When their hobbies are directed and their play manipulated they will get frustrated and learn that their own wants and needs don’t count for anything. Having an ipad in the house and not letting a child use it if they want to just totally sucks.

As the brilliant Peter Gray says “Children are suffering today not from too much computer play or too much screen time. They are suffering from too much adult control over their lives and not enough freedom.”

8- Parenting advice based on nothing
Really, what was that original article article based on? Yeah, nothing. That’s what I thought. It’s just a lament from a dude who is actually really successfully using technology to provide a livelihood for himself and to help people around him. Oh! Technology can be GREAT! There are articles floating around that seem quite research heavy, but on a second glance leave me ABUZZ with questions about who they were studying, and how, and if there is really anything meaningful in there.   Let’s stop the fear mongering research, let’s scope out all the stuff out there –  like this other Psychology Today article by Dr Peter Gray comparing limiting computer time today to hunter gatherers limiting bow & arrow time, or the quiet release of the American Academy of Paeditrician’s new guidleines on screentime for young ‘uns, let’s make decisions that reflect all our family’s needs.

9- People who think “drastic” measures are called for
How about not being drastic? How about simply being mindful and thinking things through and coming up with ideas together that reflect everyone’s desires? How about considering the burgeoning role that technology is playing in our world (genuinely, that is something we can’t change, love or hate it) and considering a family approach to reflect that? How about trying some stuff – moving towards letting go of limits like some families, or having tech-free zones decided as a family, or coming up with guidelines together (this is what we did at a family meeting recently. Family meetings will probably only be a success if your relationship is built on mutual trust and respect.

Drastic is really the opposite of good advice, for parents, in really any situation. For some nuanced, yet traditional, ideas on child hood and screen time see here.

10 – Playing with this toy.  

 A Shape Shifter Punisher, with a rather rude rocket. 

There are worse things to play with than the ipad. That’s all.

***

Now, I really don’t have the answers for your family. We have tried a lot of things and I have felt torn a lot of the time in the past between my real rational preference for unschooling and letting the girls choose access freely, and then my inner desire for a really “natural” childhood for them. Just now we are in a good space of free reign over technology, but with them choosing OFTEN, far more than the ipad, the options of imaginative play, putting on shows with puppets, river fun and cooking. Which is what I think occurs naturally once we free up all our triggered, negative emotions around screen time. And it has been this partnering thing that has been the piece of the puzzle that now makes it all feel good, for all of us.

It’s close to my heart this technology and children and earth stuff. I love the internet and ipads, and I love trees and oceans, and I don’t believe they should be pitted against each other. I think we are the unfortunate generation of parents who are lumped with having to muddle our way through this technology and social media and internet saturated life whilst trying to hold on to values that are important to us. On the other hand perhaps we are the fortunate ones- we can carve a way for future generations! What a privilege and responsibility – let’s make the journey of childhood in the 21st century one filled with empathy and respect and connection.

As usual, would love to hear from you! Either here in the comments or over on Le Facebook

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62 Comments

  • Reply Francesca Rao 2 November, 2015 at 8:26 am

    Lucy, what a wonderful post. My sentiments exactly.

    • Lucy
      Reply Lucy 2 November, 2015 at 9:40 am

      Thanks Francesca!

  • Reply Katherine 2 November, 2015 at 9:02 am

    Absolutely. Sometimes my son even puts the iPad down after a couple of minutes and asks to go outside and play.
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    • Lucy
      Reply Lucy 2 November, 2015 at 9:39 am

      Same here ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply Aly 2 November, 2015 at 9:03 am

    Some really good and valid points.I am that parent who limits my kids time on their PS3, DS’s and my phone and Chromebook to the weekends.After talking through your post with my 13 year old son, he said his best mate is allowed to go on technology when ever he likes but has grown bored of the constant daily play that he now hardly plays on it and opts for playing outside on his skateboard with friends.And I do feel guilty for constantly saying no when I am sat on the internet myself.So…. from tomorrow I’m going to give this a go and see what happens.
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    • Lucy
      Reply Lucy 2 November, 2015 at 9:40 am

      How fab that you had a conversation with your son about this ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply Laurenne Hopkins 2 November, 2015 at 9:12 am

    This! This! This! People often send me these articles too, or moan about other parents doing it and expect me to agree.

    Kids on iPads doesn’t bother me at all. My kids play on the iPad, they also do do art, sports, jump in rivers, cook, imaginative play and a hell of a lot of other things too. It’s just another piece of the puzzle – no need to attach SO much significance to it. I do think its one of those things where when it’s restricted kids really want to binge on it too. I think the modelling thing really helps, if I am on my laptop all day they’ll want to too, but if I get craft stuff out / start baking or suggest a walk they are usually totally happy to put the screens down.

    It’s such a useful tool for knowledge too, my 4 year old has just started getting the concept of Googling stuff she wants to know and it blows her little mind! She has always had unrestricted access, and has completely self taught herself to read from playing games and watching Peppa Pig phonics videos YouTube – it’s insane, unschooling in action!

    L x
    Laurenne Hopkins recently posted…Useful Things To Take When Caravanning With KidsMy Profile

    • Lucy
      Reply Lucy 2 November, 2015 at 9:40 am

      I WISH we could google! Wah to rubbish internet action ๐Ÿ™‚ Ramona totally learning numbers from counting the gold in the Lego game ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply Kate Williams 2 November, 2015 at 9:13 am

    Lucy, I don’t think I’ve commented on any blogs for like a year or something punishable by the blogging community, but that was awesome. Especially number ten ๐Ÿ˜€
    Kate Williams recently posted…40+ Advent Calendar Activities for KidsMy Profile

    • Lucy
      Reply Lucy 2 November, 2015 at 9:39 am

      Ah, what an honour! *high fives*

  • Reply Laurenne Hopkins 2 November, 2015 at 9:20 am

    Was just talking about this with my husband and another unschooling mama the other day too. my husband was unschooled from secondary age and chose to spend a lot of time on his computer. He also then started his IT company at 14, and it still supports us now – so he didn’t do too badly for unrestricted access to technology!

    We were also saying how funny it is that I remember literally *nothing* from years and years of school history classes, yet my husband knows so much about history from playing the game Civilisation because he found it interesting!
    Laurenne Hopkins recently posted…Useful Things To Take When Caravanning With KidsMy Profile

    • Lucy
      Reply Lucy 2 November, 2015 at 9:38 am

      Yes same experience for me too!

  • Reply Sunshine 2 November, 2015 at 9:24 am

    Lucy, well said. We can’t blame the tools over our own conduct. Like you mention, mindfulness! Sometimes I think we make poor choices on the basis of short term convenience and control. The problem is these poor choices create long term inconvenience and a pending loss of control.

    • Lucy
      Reply Lucy 2 November, 2015 at 9:38 am

      Absolutely ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply ThaliaKR 2 November, 2015 at 9:54 am

    Yay for this post! (And phew that it wasn’t passively aggressively at me ๐Ÿ™‚ !)

    Such a sane both/and approach. Thank you.

    As I said the other day (and another day before that…) I think a lot of the child obesity discourse as it connects with screen-based sedentary play is completely made redundant if kids aren’t sitting – SITTING! – for 5 or 6 hours a day at SCHOOL. That’s what’s keeping them from running around, as you say!

    Like you, I really struggle with this. My little guy counts as his favourite thing ‘watching something’ and I feel basically embarrassed whenever he says it. I’m trying to get over it! He’s deeply engaged when he ‘watches something’ and has hours and hours of his life when he isn’t doing that, so what am I worried about? I’m worried he will become someone uninteresting and unsociable, which is clearly never going to happen. I need to get over myself.
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  • Reply Dani 2 November, 2015 at 10:37 am

    I so wish to meet you one day… Such a great article pinging through my inbox just when I need it. You take the weight from the heavy parenting shoulders…. Am so inspired by your beautifully relaxed balanced approach, I definitely struggle with the wanting to do my best for my kid but not knowing how to do this. Decision fatigue. Learning to let go is the biggest lesson to learn in life!!

  • Reply Anna 2 November, 2015 at 11:10 am

    I love this too. So many valid points about creating a balanced experience for our kids. My lg is well into Octonauts at the moment – it’s such a struggle, because she would sit and watch it back to back for HOURS if I let her, but then to see how it informs her play and that she’s learning about ocean life (kindaโ€ฆ). She loves it when I cuddle up to her on the sofa to watch together, and yes, a cheeky shut-eye for me – which is totally important too, especially now that she no longer naps!
    Thank you once again for broadening the debate and speeding a bit of common sense about the place!
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    • Reply Emma 2 November, 2015 at 10:59 pm

      My partner is a conversation specialist and he thinks Octonauts is amazing – all the sea life stuff is totally accurate, so she is learning, there’s no kinda about it!
      Emma recently posted…Weeeeeee! Toilet talkMy Profile

      • Reply Emma 2 November, 2015 at 11:00 pm

        Conservation! Damn you autocorrect!
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      • Reply Lizzie 2 November, 2015 at 11:18 pm

        I grew up without a TV and have TOTALLY made up for it as an adult!!! Including catching up on a lot of the stuff I missed, I love some 80s stuff!
        And nope, i’m not some naturalist superwoman either! Screens are huge for me, I can’t imagine life without them.

      • Reply Lizzie 2 November, 2015 at 11:19 pm

        Oops so sorry my comment about growing up without a TV was meant for a different comment by an Emma!

        To yours, I was going to say that I was watching Octonauts with my nephew in the summer (my first introduction to it, my daughter is too old for it to have been on my radar!) and I was googling the facts as we went and yep, all true! ๐Ÿ™‚

        • Lucy
          Reply Lucy 3 November, 2015 at 8:53 am

          How brilliant!

  • Reply Liz 2 November, 2015 at 2:36 pm

    Thank you for a very interesting post. I enjoy playing ipad games with my nieces, and it’s really nice to read a different perspective to the usual media demonisation of anything with a screen.
    If I can note one thing that seemed out of place though compared to the rest of the post (there’s always one thing from the commenters, isn’t there!) it would be the offhand comments about certain subjects at school. I’m absolutely not questioning non-traditional schooling methods, nor the issues with kids sitting in classrooms for hours on end. But I remember being teased for how much I liked maths and sciences at school, and the negative attitude surrounding maths especially as an ‘unnecessary’ subject, or one that it is nerdy to enjoy. I also feel that I missed out hugely by not having more second-language learning during my younger years. Let’s not fall into that trap of saying some subjects are not worth it – surely it’s the teaching method that is the issue, not maths or languages? Both these subjects often get treated as unimportant in NZ, but have been shown to be really important for cognitive development (I don’t have links to research to hand, but I have studied maths education).
    I don’t mean to undermine what you’ve said, and I realise I’ve become one of those annoying ppl who goes off on tangents in the comments. The post as a whole is excellent, it just was a bit disappointing to see the stereotypical attitudes to education creep in, which contrasted quite starkly against your encouragement to be supportive of what a child enjoys (which could easily be algebra or latin – speaking from my own experience).

    • Lucy
      Reply Lucy 2 November, 2015 at 2:39 pm

      Yes, great point! Thank you! It IS out of place, you are right. The point was one about being forced to learn subjects in an un-ideal way. Actually curiosity led Latin and algebra are BRILLIANT ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Reply Uniquity 3 November, 2015 at 2:03 am

      I was often teased (and still am) for how much I love learning. To me, things like algebra and latin are not even remotely useless but I choose to seek them out and further my education in them. I think that is the difference. My sister in law is a ‘typical teenager’ who sees school as a prison and math as useless. When is she ever going to have to count again – we have calculators and computers!

      We had very different experiences within the same system, and we both have different approaches to life. I never want to stop learning, and she’d like to be done with it immediately. Well, actually she is having an attitude change lately as she becomes very interested in history which I find exciting. We’re all changing all the time!

      • Lucy
        Reply Lucy 3 November, 2015 at 9:01 am

        That’s fab ๐Ÿ™‚ and like always, so good to hear from you ๐Ÿ™‚
        Yes,nit was a bit naughty of me saying those things are no good as I KNOW some people love them. I think, however, they should be learnt with understanding of child development, and motivated by curiosity and joy ๐Ÿ™‚
        I do have to pick you up on your paradigm around learning! You seem to be portraying a bias towards academia, but an alternative paradigm would say that we are born learning, we all can’t help but learn ALL THE TIME ๐Ÿ™‚ it is in our nature and it is soooo apparent when observing children.
        If we had more learning based in curiosity and true interest and topics taught interconnectedly we would probably have more Latin and algebra in the world, funny Eh!

  • Reply Emily 2 November, 2015 at 7:38 pm

    this is spot on, as always. I do worry about the kids iPad time and with the 4yo I’m not keen on the re-entry issues we have when it is time to turn it off. However, I spent a fab hour playing Lego Batman with my 6yo and he really seemed to get a kick from us sharing this and his mum being awesome at a computer game *clicks fingers in a z* This half term he has been using it to make actual hideous and yet brilliant movies. It can be a real gateway to creativity.

  • Reply Lizzie 2 November, 2015 at 9:17 pm

    I’ve never restricted “screen time” (although my daughter did go to primary school). So the other thing I’ve realised is that if you were to restrict gaming or YouTube or social media to, say, a couple of hours a week only, your kids are not going to get much out of it at all, just a scrambled tense binge of something or other, I’d imagine – whereas if a child does choose to spend a lot of time on something, the depth of learning is just amazing to watch, and far more discerning and tailored too.

  • Reply Emma 2 November, 2015 at 9:47 pm

    Hi, I love your posts and am a free spirit mumma too. I was in total agreement with this way of thinking
    until I started to realise that our family’s health was affected and realised the connection with the emfs from our laptop and ipad and phones. I had chronic fatigue, vertigo and tinnitus and had no clue for 3 years why. My hubby was developing bipolar and son was adhd.
    When I found out why this was all happening I was so shocked. I gave up my phone and beloved ipad mini, wired in the landline and laptop at home and started to read and learn as much as I could. I organised a talk at my son’s school by scientist Barrie Trower, and have started training in sound frequency healing using hertz frequencies from tuning forks which can actually heal our bodies and one in particular can apparently repair broken DNA. It is a fascinating field. Living in Nature is very grounding so you are far less affected there Lucy, but for families living in flats wearing rubber shoes surrounded by emfs and pulsed wifi the future will be challenging. A balance is great, but so too is a full education on what these frequencies really are and what they do to our blood, ovaries, nervous systems, brains and DNA.

    Further reading info:
    The Body Electric and Cross Currents by Dr Robert O Becker (twice nominated for the Nobel Prize)
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-FMMdJibIjY
    http://www.electricsense.com/

    Lots of love and healthy vibes
    Emma xxx

    Facebook
    Get Wired Not Fried

  • Reply Emma 2 November, 2015 at 9:55 pm

    Hi again,
    Just to add, since we now have 2 Wired- in laptops (no wifi, just WLAN) I do find we are less
    addicted as we play outside when outside (instead of sneeking a peak at facey whilst at forest school)
    plus we have more time playing guitar, doing crafts, baking. Life as a retro “wired in” family has brought us that balance.
    I love facebook and googling stuff and we can do it now without feeling zapped ! Peace of mind.
    Emma

    • Lucy
      Reply Lucy 2 November, 2015 at 10:26 pm

      Thanks for sharing. Really interesting. So good to know about those options too- and can totally agree about how much easier it is, on a personal level, when my phone isn’t able to ping me when I’m out and about ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply Katy Hill 2 November, 2015 at 10:41 pm

    Brilliant post. And so true. I often feel like the worlds worst mother because I introduced my kids to an iPad in the first place and now have to contain the beast! The way I view it, technology is going to be SUCH a huge part of their future, they need to be up to speed AND lie on the grass looking at stars! Both equally important! x

    • Lucy
      Reply Lucy 2 November, 2015 at 10:52 pm

      Exactly!

  • Reply Alice 2 November, 2015 at 10:54 pm

    Interesting ideas.
    We have very little technology in our house as that’s the way we prefere it. As a result my kids don’t request screen time – even though it is available in limited forms. They attend main stream school and learn IT skills so I don’t feel were holding them back at all. My children’s language skills and general knowledge are way above their years and I’m pretty sure that’s because they communicate.
    My friends son is CONSTANTLY on his iPad at age 7. I’m talking – every journey, every meal, every play date … Glued to it. When he came to my house recently I found him searching for the password for my server so he could log on. That’s not healthy. In that respect unrestricted access to iPad is unsafe. His mum is now worried he can’t make friends, language skills are low so on. Can’t help wondering if there is a connection?!
    I’m not saying iPads are the devil, but believe parents should show common sense. Big ask in some cases.

    • Lucy
      Reply Lucy 3 November, 2015 at 8:57 am

      Thank you for sharing ๐Ÿ™‚
      I know nothing about your friends situation, so can’t really comment but it does sound from what you say that there is more going on than meets the eye. It sounds like he is using it for something, possibly to avoid social interaction, and it might be being really helpful. One of my friends kids just stays in the car by himself when it comes to groups of people, because he can’t handle it.
      I haven’t found this to be the case, and lots of unschoolers don’t either so I think it can’t really be held up as the “but look what happens!”…
      I think the “partnering” with our childre is the key thing.

  • Reply Emma 2 November, 2015 at 10:55 pm

    Oh wow, this is spookily timed! We don’t have a TV but I do let my one year old watch cartoons on the iPad. I was starting to get worried about this and feel like a bad parent, but the thing that made me stop was (and this may sound silly) one of my friends telling me he watched no TV as a child. And do you know what? He isnt some sort of natural superman. He’s exactly the same as me and my friends who were drip-fed Thundercats and Byker Grove. It totally released a stress valve in my head. NOW my problem is finding cartoons without insidious sexist messages. I thought we were onto a winner with the Lion King until I realised that real lion societies are matriarchal – it should be the Lion Queen.
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    • Reply Lizzie 2 November, 2015 at 11:20 pm

      I grew up without a TV and have TOTALLY made up for it as an adult!!! Including catching up on a lot of the stuff I missed, I love some 80s stuff!
      And nope, iโ€™m not some naturalist superwoman either! Screens are huge for me, I canโ€™t imagine life without them.

      • Reply Emma 3 November, 2015 at 5:51 am

        Haha, that’s good to know! My friend still doesn’t watch TV, but he’ll sit on Facebook for HOURS, so gets just as much screen time.
        Emma recently posted…Weeeeeee! Toilet talkMy Profile

      • Lucy
        Reply Lucy 3 November, 2015 at 8:52 am

        So good to hear from you hehehehe…. Lots of people are like “I didn’t have tv growing up so my children won’t”
        I think it is also just a totally different context these days…

    • Lucy
      Reply Lucy 3 November, 2015 at 8:54 am

      Thunder thunder thunder thunder CATS
      ALSO
      By-Ah Grove mon

  • Reply Jem 2 November, 2015 at 11:36 pm

    I solve this problem by not being able to afford an iPad, therefore not having one to have to make this decision about ๐Ÿ˜‰
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  • Reply Susanna 3 November, 2015 at 1:37 am

    I LOVE this post Lucy. Very thought provoking! Shall share via britmums too
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    • Lucy
      Reply Lucy 3 November, 2015 at 8:49 am

      Thank you!

  • Reply Domestic Goddesque 3 November, 2015 at 2:06 am

    I would disagree with you on the Latin thing. The root of Classic Languages are visible in most Western Language, so spending some time learning Latin (and/or Ancient Greek) can benefit Home Education, not least with the learning of Modern Languages. In fact, Latin is on the rise as a subject in the UK, and is being offered in Primary Schools in Scotland to boost literacy. There’s probably an App for it on the iPad.

    • Lucy
      Reply Lucy 3 November, 2015 at 9:03 am

      Ha, brilliant Kelly ๐Ÿ™‚ yeah, I perhaps betrayed some of my inner insecurities there ๐Ÿ™‚
      As you can hopefully see from the comments though, I think it all has a place ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply Yvette @ Big Trouble in Little Nappies 3 November, 2015 at 3:49 am

    A brilliant read and I completely agree with everything you’ve said. Perfectly put!

    Oh, and number 10? WT very F?!
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  • Reply sophie 3 November, 2015 at 8:53 am

    Well said! I was just having a discussion with a friend about how important it is to let kids do what they love. You wrote: ”To help take their love of something on the ipad and take it to the next level.” This is so important!

  • Reply Lucy 3 November, 2015 at 10:30 am

    Very interesting. I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately. I’m doing one of those FutureLearn courses on exploring play and last week was all about technology. I tend towards placing limits on screen time for kids but the course had some really eye-opening things to say about the inclusive nature of technological play and especially how it can really help kids with disabilities or SEN by removing the barriers they might experience with more traditional forms of play. Which rather shut me up!

    My one year-old doesn’t watch tv currently and isn’t yet at the stage of playing computer/ipad games, but we do plan to slowly introduce it once he seems like he’ll be able to get more from it. I had thought that this would be heavily limited, but the more I read on this topic, the less I am inclined to impose many limits after all. Although I do still think no screens during mealtimes is a good rule…

  • Reply Yvonne 3 November, 2015 at 11:59 am

    Love this! We unschool and my boys are obsessed with Minecraft but I’ve never had trouble getting them off their games to go to the park or meet with friends or go to their sports and activities. Their love of gaming has also grown into an interest in programming and animation. My eldest learned to read so that he could chat online with other players and my youngest is a maths wizz thanks to the fact that the building blocks and inventory work in the same way as an abacus. You never know where their interests might lead!

  • Reply Madeleine 4 November, 2015 at 12:22 am

    Great post!
    I was thinking through what I thought and well we dont have a Tv or computer but use our smartphones at home. Our son did not get to watch screens until he was 3, his dad told me he did not want him to because it could harm his brain development and as I am not a big Tv-fan (i get addicted) it never occured to me to question it. But now my son turned three and I started to show youtubeclips and animal documenteries and good movies I loved as a kid and we actually have so much fun and he learns alot. Picks up new words, learn new songs (wheels on the bus goes on repeat!) and his fine motoric skills is improved even better. Maybe he will turn out like my brother who is a 3d-animator and loves high-tech. Or maybe he just get to enjoy the wast world of Internet which is actually how me and his dad meet. I think that technology is here to stay and it is my job to get Ossian to run around outdoors but also to communicate and master Internet and anything else he shows an interest in.
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  • Reply Kate 14 April, 2016 at 6:36 pm

    this is wonderful! I love how you get to the heart of the matter. I go back and forth about technology all the time. And I really feel that it is all about my feelings. My fears, and worries. When I’m having a bad day I’m more likely to worry about my daughter’s ipad use. And I also notice that I’m soaking up all the negative articles out there about how ‘terrible’ it is, and how they’re shaping my attitude. Thank you for helping me to shape my mind in a more positive way ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Lucy
      Reply Lucy 15 April, 2016 at 1:48 pm

      Yes Kate ๐Ÿ™‚ Lets parent through love and not fear!

  • Reply Jayne Walker 16 April, 2016 at 12:17 am

    Thanks for this – it’s clarified a heck of a lot of stuff & I’m much more relaxed about the whole technology thing ( naturally I’m a bit of a techno phobe!) I’m even thinking to get our 8 year old a laptop ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Lucy
      Reply Lucy 19 April, 2016 at 9:51 am

      Ah, so stoked! Really great to hear this ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply Why We Have No Limits To Screen Time 23 April, 2016 at 12:17 am

    […] am clearly a complete hippy, a total tree hugger. But I am convinced that screens are vilified as the enemy of nature, and our kidโ€™s health, at the cost of parent โ€“ child… We are trying to get the internet to our farm, and perhaps we will have to have a conversation […]

  • Reply Wendy Franklin 29 April, 2016 at 6:40 am

    “What a privilege and responsibility โ€“ letโ€™s make the journey of childhood in the 21st century one filled with empathy and respect and connection.” Agreed. 100%.

  • Reply Rabia @TheLiebers 3 May, 2016 at 4:08 am

    I struggle with the balance of outside time and iPad/screen time. I allow my kids both. Mostly during the week they aren’t allowed screen time, while on the weekends they can have unlimited. I am fortunate to have an 8 year old who will call me out on my hypocrisy (“How come you get to play on your phone and we can’t be on the computer?”) He really challenges me to think about the restrictions and why I have put them into place.
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  • Reply Four Must-Have Apps for Nature Loving Kids | The Natural Parent Opinion 3 May, 2016 at 1:08 pm

    […] We love nature, and we love screens, and I believe the role of a natural parent in this digital world is to help our children navigate screens healthily and in trust. By using screens as a way to connect with our children and helping technology to connect us to nature! I find it incredibly sad that we vilify ipads at the cost of relationship to our children. […]

  • Reply To TV or not to TV? - Mel Wiggins 11 July, 2016 at 9:16 am

    […] the same time as the exit of the TV, Lucy posted this great piece about how there are many other things that are worse for our children thanย ipad/screen time, and […]

  • Reply Linda 27 August, 2016 at 2:32 am

    I. LOVE. YOU.

  • Reply Unschooling Panics Part 3: I wish my kids would read and write, not play on screens! – The Little English Unschool 16 November, 2016 at 11:03 pm

    […] 10 Things That Are Worse For Your Child Than Playing on the iPad by Lulastic and the Hippyshake, is a wonderful, put your mind at rest read. […]

  • Reply Screens Arenโ€™t Zombifying Your Children 1 February, 2017 at 1:51 am

    […] But as a fellow loving parent and fellow pioneer in this bold new digital world, it feels important to share with you the shaky nature of the more popular science on screentime. It feels vital that we get clear on the fact that there are far worse things for our children than an ipad. […]

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