Monkey🐵 see monkey🐒do. What kind of example are we setting for our kids?

It was a 4 hour drive home from Taranaki to Tauranga, with just my partner, myself and our 6 year old son in the car, SO… I decided to make the most of having this amount of time together to talk with my partner, haha= captured audience!

What I wanted to discuss was how we use technology (in particular our phones and the iPad) and about what sort of example are we setting for our children.

Like many of you I use my phone as a 1) Phone (ahem) 2) for texting 3) it’s my watch and alarm clock 4) for playing music 5) as a camera 6) the internet! Already so many reasons to be fiddling with this damn useful piece of technology and I haven’t even mentioned apps (I have really crap storage) or games (as that’s not really my thing). However a few times lately I have been told off by my 8 year for being on my phone too much! I legitimately started to make excuses “ I’m actually doing the banking “or “ I just need to reply to this email”, and most ironically using my phone to update this blog or our social media pages about “getting outdoors with the kids”😂🌳🚶‍♀️ On the flip side it has got me thinking…

How does this look to our kids? What are we in fact normalizing? How are we being present with one another? Just how much time are we spending online? Are we mindlessly scrolling?

Being outdoorsy folk I feel we are doing ok. But I do think we could be doing a lot better particularly us adults by being more intentional with our usage. We are on devices more than ever (obviously I’m on one right now and my partner is sitting outside using the iPad as I write). I had an idea about getting a little basket, placing it on the kitchen bench so when we walked into the kitchen/lounge we would flick the phone onto silent and place it in there until an allocated time i.e. once the kids are in bed and then check/text/whatsapp or whatever. My partner gets a text message each evening to tell him what the work plan for the next day is so it might be hard him to not check it but I think even having the intention of not reaching for it every 5 seconds will help us be better role models.

As for the iPad our boys only got it at Christmas so its all fairly new and exciting for them still, they would stay on it for hours if we let them! I do worry about iPad usage (it seems very addictive and I notice their behavior gets off track) + their awful hunched over postures when using it! Does anyone else feel like this? We are going to trial restricting usage to 20 minutes of school math games or whatever program they “need” to be doing followed by 10 minutes of games. That’s 30 minutes each, per day.

Does anyone else share my concerns? I’d love to know what you are doing with your kids or what discussions your having. Please share your thoughts in the comments below.

Thanks Tammy✌ #letsunplugandgooutside

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2 thoughts on “Monkey🐵 see monkey🐒do. What kind of example are we setting for our kids?

  1. Greig says:

    I agree wholeheartedly with iPads and addiction – there’s some way that the tech works that triggers our brains in the same way drugs do. We became an iPad family last year and I watched the change in my kids. Then we took them away camping as rain was in the forecast for all five days. They were stolen from my car = problem solved! I have an old laptop they can use for school work, but we’ll never go back to ipads…


    1. Forestfamilynz says:

      Hi Greig, thanks for your comment. We had a similar situation (well it didn’t get stolen) but our old iPad broke and I didn’t replace, so the kids went without all last year. However, my son had math homework which he didn’t complete all year which I felt quite conscious of. He tried to do it on the PC -but it totally sucks to do as it’s made for touch screens. So knowing he is getting older I made the decision to replace it. Tricky! I am trying hard to monitor time use and general use. Lots to navigate…


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