Saturday, December 10, 2011

Is my husband too naïve or am I too cynical?

I read this article and immediately rushed to my husband who was in the living room. To my horror, I realized I had been sitting hooked to our desktop computer for last couple of minutes reading article after article; while my husband was sprawled on the sofa holding his laptop and the Tab was lying on the carpet (also switched on). What has become of us! Is technology taking over our lives? I am not a phone person but I am a big time internet person. I love surfing, and I spend hours on the net!

Coming back to the article, if you don’t want to or have time to read the article; It is about how not to give in to the peer pressure in providing your children with the latest gadgets. It says the children are going to do exactly what they see you doing, irrespective of what you teach them.

The scene, which I described a little while ago, was a reality check for us. Here we are completely besotted with all sorts of gadgets, so much that they are almost taking over our lives and playing havoc with our attention span; and on the other side, we fear the day when our baby will start asking for gadgets because he would find his parents using one or the other all the time!

I briefed my husband about this article and asked him how are we going to handle such situation. Now just pay attention to what he said. He said we will make it a point to meet up with the parents of our kid’s buddies and we would mutually decide not to give such gadgets like mobile phones, Playstations and Ipods. I asked him, “and why do you think they would go with your plan?” He said, “because they would understand it is not good for the kids”.

Theoretically, we all know children do not need these gadgets so soon, but even we don’t, theoretically! And yet we spend so much time on one or the other! When I was a kid, I can clearly remember two such occasions, where I created a scene right at the shop to make my parents buy stuff for me. They also would not have thought of those things (one was a toy phone and another were skates). May be those things weren’t such which could impact my life so much, but giving mobile phones and Playstations are big decisions.

My husband said, “we would go to other parents’ place and discuss with them about the impact of such gadgets on children, and I’m sure they would understand our point, like we would if somebody else explained to us the same things”. I said, “you could assume that because you are already open to the idea. There’s no convincing involved here”. Other parents might have different ideas on what is good for their children". To which he said, “our kid would obviously gel with like-minded kids, who would not be very different from him, and whose parents would obviously be like them.” So you see, my husband thinks the world is a nice place where everything fits perfectly.

Then he said, “don’t be so paranoid. These newspapers, articles and programmes focus on extreme cases. Look around and tell me one such kid who is spoilt.” And like always he had a point. Then I thought may be I was getting too unreasonable. Kids are smarter these days.

Then, I asked my husband, since we already have PS2 and PS3, what is he going to do about those? “You can’t expect our kid not to play on the Playstations”. And surprise, surprise, he said he would tell him not to! That takes me back to my childhood. The more my mum told me not to have tea, I became obsessed about it, and I still am! You can’t be playing on them yourself, and expect your child not to; may be you can fix a time for it, may be allow him only when he plays outdoors. I don’t want my kid to play football with joysticks; he better goes outside and enjoys the game as it should be!

Aah! Life was so much simpler earlier. If anybody has any suggestions on these parenting issues, they are most welcome; and I apologize to keep ranting about parenting. I can’t help it; it is the only thing which I can talk about right now.