Sometimes I look at my little girl and I wonder… where on earth has my baby gone?! I feel like I have blinked, and she has suddenly become a proper little girl as opposed to the baby and toddler I still see in my minds eye. It is scary how much she wants to do for herself and obviously incredibly frustrating for her when she is unable to do something because of her size, ability or because I say no.
I think it is a general consensus amongst a lot of parents that children are growing up too quickly and I don’t think industries such as the fashion and technology industries are particularly helping that much. I am frequently told how nicely my little girl is dressed and “congratulated” on the fact that she looks like a “nice little girl” or “as little girls should.” That is because I choose to dress her in age appropriate and relatively traditional clothing – not the latest sequin boob tube, denim mini-skirt or skimpy bikini that is shockingly available in a large number of toddler clothing departments.
I am the same with technology. I think with the way the world is today and where we are heading, it would be pretty stupid of me not to allow my daughter to look at and learn about technology, but I do have my limits!
She did not use a tablet, ever, until the ripe old age of two and a half. She does now have an old one of mine as her own and she has educational learning apps to play with which she is a total whizz at. That is pretty much the extent of her use of technology, other than the TV which thanks to the fact it needs 2 remotes to operate, she hasn’t quite figured out… yet.
Of course, then comes the big one… mobile phones! She knows what one is as obviously I use mine A LOT for work (probably too much) and so she is aware of a lot of the capabilities. She is a fan of the TV show Go Jetters and at the end of each episode they take a “souvenir selfie” and of course as my little has already had fun with me taking selfies, she knows what one is and now asks to take them too!
However, I DO NOT want my daughter growing up, being obsessed by taking the latest and greatest selfie. It’s a fine line to tread – I don’t want what I do to make her appear “uncool” to other children as I know what it’s like to be bullied. My mum did nothing to help that happen, I just wasn’t a “cool” kind of child. However, I also do not want to give in to the peer pressure of giving her something like a mobile phone before I think she is ready or before I’ve had chance to brush on up on the latest safety advice – this guide from Tiger Mobiles looks like a very good starting point.
In my own head, I am thinking she will probably get a basic phone from me around the age of 10. If things continue with her dancing, she is likely to go to competitions etc and to training so it will be important for her to be able to make contact. However, this isn’t set in stone. If I don’t think she is mature enough I’d like to believe I won’t give in and get her one but again… it’s that fine line of being the same as all the other kids.
For now, I am happy to allow her to use the tablet and learn and grow with it. I do limit the amount of time she can spend on it and for her age I think we are doing okay. The future… well that just scares the bejesus out of me – and that’s without even considering when I’d let her on social media! Currently, I am going to be content with placing my head firmly in the sand about the whole thing and coming back to it at hopefully a much later date.
What about you – when do you think it’s okay to give them a mobile phone?! How young is too young?
*This is a collaborative post.