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.  


  1. Thats article is really worrisome. Though I agree with your hubby's point that these articles are all extreme cases.
    But then when I see around the article does reflect reality to some extent. We might say that we will teach the best to our kid but when he goes out there he isn't really in our hands, surely what we teach him will decide his actions but the fact is he too will get tempted.
    As far as how I will handle it is concerned is something that I will decide there n then but as far as your hsuband's solution is concerned hmmmmm I am not very sure if people will take it in a positive manner. You can influence your friends or rather people who are on the same page as u are but when a kid is in a school, well there wud be all kidns of parents!!!
    Sigh!! have written too much dunno how much of it makes sense but will stop now because I am also worried now ;)

  2. Hey, the intention was not to spoil your day :-) but share concerns and exchange solutions. We are all on the same boat, aren't we?

  3. Just chillax n let him do wht he want and bht time hai yaar abi so itna worid kyn aram se

  4. @ Manish - The moment we became parents, we have sub-consciously agreed to be worried for the rest of our lives. Ask your mom, she would tell you :)Time hai? You know what, he is growing up so fast, in no time, he would start going to school as well, which also reminds me that I have to get worried about which school would be good for him!

  5. Di padhna band karo ye articles n yes d respnsblty, headqus, tentns n lot f dialgues r gng thrug apka head but thra aram se....... And mom se kya puchn she s stl n lot f headqus tht wht i wil do as many peopl thnk stil am a careles n irrespnsbl par mere bare me talk se koi fayda nai....... But u shld thra kam padho bcs ths writeups r headaques;-)

  6. And schul jane m almst 3 to 4 year so tb tak u wil b nrmal

  7. Vikram Karve from, which I accidentally deleted, wrote:
    Hi Reema,
    You have nicely articulated your parenting dilemma.
    Never succumb to peer pressure. Most electronic gadgets are not suitable for very young children from both the cognitive development and health points of view, at least till the baby is 6 years old. Now, when the baby is so small, you must not expose your baby to these gadgets in your bedroom - keep your laptop away on your desk at home and give your baby your full attention when playing with the baby. Happy Parenting.

  8. Interesting article... being a fresh entry to parenthood, I welcome such posts!

    And I think I am going to buy myself a Nintendo Wii or a Microsoft Kinect, and play along with my daughter when she is old enough to play with daddy!

  9. about to read the post and my boss called..willl be back here ASAP....meanwhile thanks yar:)

  10. hah i read it..good post reemaji..Life was so much simpler earlier...yesss

  11. I am replying to all the wonderful people who left comment over her really really late but I still wanted to
    @Vikram: you are right. The fault is in us, if we put these things in front of them, they would want to pick those up. It is same for anything else we put out too.
    @Prashant: your pictures are amazing :-) afte thinking a lot on the subject, now I am convinced, perhaps ther is no point in stopping our kids on using these, moderation is the key. We have to stop making big deal about it and let things be enjoyed in moderation. In future, tgey ar going to be surrounded by seveal more gadgets, we will not be able to monitor eveything, we need to inculcate discipline and importance of eveything in moderation, and pray :-)
    @Ramesh: you bet, but even our parents would have thougt so :-)