Growing Up in a World of Technology

Back when Isaac was younger, he showed no interest in what videos can be played on the ipad and his attention span on things was short. Hence, it was easy to keep the tablets/phones out of his reach. We’d also remind our parents not to show him videos on their phones because we were afraid that he’d become addicted to gadgets when he got older. However, in this age of technology, we finally gave in to exposing our child to the use of the ipad. Why? The main reason has got to be because everyone around him is using it. We, as adults are constantly on the phone / ipad / laptop most of the time. Be it work related or not, our kid sees us using some form of technology when he is with us. As he starts to get more curious at his age, how is it fair for us to tell him ‘no’ if he wants to see what we are doing. I remember it actually started with FaceTime. He realised he could still see his gramps or aunt even though they are not at the same place. It was only later on that he got more curious by what his cousins and friends were watching on the screens all the time. Am i guilty about starting him on the use of ipad? No. Here’s why:

  1. I believe kids learn faster when they are having fun. We are careful about what he watches on the screen. I must say I am a huge fan of the YT Kids app. I can personalize my settings on the app like turning off the ‘Search’ function so it restricts the experience to a limited set of videos. The content that my kid is allowed to watch are suitable for toddlers of pre-school age. Best part of all, I can even set the timer to how long he is allowed to be watching the videos. In fact, he has learnt the words like ‘excavator’,’fire truck’ and ‘garbage truck’ from the videos. We are cool with him watching the videos as long as we are around (next to him) when he is watching them. Ooh yes, how can i even forget to mention how much he loves the Sesame Street?
  2. Many people think that by giving kids the tablets, it will eventually replace the bond between the parent and child because more time is spent on the device. To which, I think it is not entirely true. That bond is only replaced if parents neglect their kids by letting them watch videos all day long. I’d take the time to sit next to my little one when he is watching and ask him questions like “what is that in the fire truck?” and he’d tell me what he thinks. From that, I actually learn what he is thinking, or his imagination of what is in the fire truck. After that, he’d tell me he aspires to be a fireman or a police when he grows up. Communicating with him is key. Bond is not broken by the gadgets. It is broken by what people fail to do. Quite honestly, I think watching the videos with him is actually bonding time for us.
  3. I get to steal abit of ME time when he is kept occupied (of cause not all the time we’d occupy him with the ipad). I get to take a slightly longer shower, we get to eat in peace, we get to complete watching a movie. Sometimes parents just need a break.

That being said, we limit the time he is on the videos and try to balance it with other activities. When he asks for the ipad, we’d encourage him to play with his toys or read books with us. He usually co-operates knowing there are other fun stuff to do other than staying home to watch videos. Going outdoors usually does the trick.

At the end of the day, technology is here to stay. I am just going to take a step back from all our parenting book of rules and embrace it. 🙂

screen time

 

 

 

 

Isaac is going to Play Group!

Just last month, we walked past the school that I have registered Isaac in when he turned 1. He was extremely excited to see the kids playing and stopped in his tracks to watch them and tried to get their attention from the window. Although we always say that there is no need to rush things and send him to playgroup at such a young age, I decided to just call the school to check on our queue number just to see how far are we from enrolment. Much to my dismay, I was advised that they are not allowed to disclose the queue number due to personal data protection. To be honest, i cannot understand what kind of data are they protecting when all i wanted to know was our queue number. Anyway, I was even more shocked when the lady over the phone said to me “To ensure that you have a spot or a centre to go to, we suggest that you register you child in 10 locations so you have higher chance of securing a slot.” 10 schools! I even confirmed with her that I had heard what I heard.

I mean seriously, I have heard from my friends and relatives that I should sign him up for school as soon as I can because the waiting list is crazy.. but this is unbelievable! I refuse to get sucked into this rat race because I know that there are many more parents out there who need to put their children in playgroups because they have no one to look after their kids. Since Isaac has his grandparents to look after him, my thought is if there is a slot, then we will put him in the playgroup so he can learn to socialise with other kids. If not, then so be it. I will leave the situation as is. Not gonna be registering in 10 schools.

Last week, I received a call from the school telling me that there is a slot for Isaac in Dec. I was pretty surprised because with the number of young families in Punggol, I was expecting to wait at least another 6 months.

So now that this is happening real soon, I have started asking around what I need to prepare myself for (besides emotionally) when he goes to school! So far, I have thought of a couple of things like loading the kiddo up on vitamins since there will be a higher possibility of him catching bugs from the other kids. Name stickers for his belongings. Perhaps a bigger water bottle because he drinks alot of water in a day.

What else do I need?

By the way, ever since I heard the news that he will be going to playgroup, this has been my image of how he would look like:

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Bad Boy Look

OK… Maybe not so bad boy… more like:

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As the date draws nearer, I have brought him a few times to look at the school from outside and asked him “Do you want to go to school?” He’d always reply “K”. Mentally preparing him for it although I secretly feel that I am preparing myself for it too. I hope he is able to adapt well to playgroup when the time comes. Otherwise, like what the hubs and I always say to him – Slowly but surely.

Embracing the Next Phase of Parenthood

It is unbelievable how time flies with a little one at home. In the blink of an eye, we are 15 months into this whole parenting journey and Isaac is no longer a baby! Like every parent, the usage of the classic line ‘where did all that time go?’ is inevitable. The transition from Isaac being a baby to toddler is a bittersweet experience for me thus far. Here are some of the things I like and dislike about this phase of parenthood. 

Our toddler can finally walk! I cannot describe how happy we are with this milestone because we no longer have to carry him all the time! Our friends tell us that it will be even harder to manage him once he starts walking because we have to start chasing him around. Though it is true that it can get tiring chasing after him, we still prefer it as compared to having to carry him all the time. 
With the steadiness of his mobility, I now have a hard time changing his diaper or putting clothes on him. I cannot help but feel like I’m battling with some mad Monster fish with crazy body twisting skills. At the end of the day, I give in by using the pull up pants instead. Then comes the clothing him. Before I’m done with putting the clothes on, the topless baby will be up and parading around the house in his diapers. 

Sleeping habits – The toddler seems to sleep less during the day now. Some days, he doesn’t even sleep when we want him to just so we can nap as well or get done with our grocery shopping in a shorter time. The good part about this is, this allows him to maintain the usual bedtime routine of 9pm-7am. The less sleep in the day, the earlier he turns in. Just yesterday, he broke the his record by sleeping from 5pm to 7am. That’s a straight 14hr sleep because even when he nudged me to make his milk at 5ish am, he did it with his eyes closed the whole time. 

Expressiveness – As the little one is more expressive now, he will show us his emotions towards what he likes or dislikes. For example, he will protest when we try to buckle him in the car seat. He will to look out for dogs, birds or planes when he’s at the park. He is afraid of sudden loud noises. All these little actions allow me to understand him a little better each time. 

The curious toddler – With the ability to move around by himself, Isaac tends to check out those random stuffs that we have lying around the house. With whatever he has gotten hold of, he would mimic the way we use it. Just like the television remote controller. He would pick it up, point it at the television and press the buttons on the controller just to see what happens. I like to see how he mimics us because it shows that he is learning, but it also means we have to start child proofing our home. One of my greatest worries are the electrical sockets. Which is why we have to cover all the electrical outlets with the socket covers. Even with those, I will ensure that he is supervised at all times. 

Learning to speak – Isaac can now say simple words (1 syllable). It is so much easier when he tells us specifically what he wants instead of us having to play the guessing game. If he is hungry, he says milk or mom-mom. When he wants to go somewhere he’d point and say ‘go there’. Cute toddler babbles, there is absolutely nothing I dislike about them! 

Follow simple instructions – This has got to be my favourite. An example of this is when we pass him something and tell him “throw away please”, he brings it to the bin. Trouble with this is, he seems to like to bring everything to the bin now! HAHA! The last time round when I changed our sheets, he was happy to pass me the bolster/pillow cases when I told him to. He can also keep his toys now when instructed. Who doesn’t love an extra pair of hands at household chores? 

I am certainly looking forward to more milestones with the little one. Things are just beginning to get fun around here! 

Isaac at 15 months