Welcome to the April issue of CHILD magazines, introduced by our editor-in-chief, Kim Richards.
As I was driving home from work this week, I saw my son’s school friend walking his dog. My first thought was, “Maybe I should adopt a dog. Maybe that will get my son off his device (and his butt) and out into the fresh air.” But, as I got closer, I saw he was actually walking with his smartphone gripped in two hands, right in front of his face, the dog lead surreptitiously protruding from the back of the phone. How he kept an even pace, without tripping over the lead, the dog or a dip in the path was truly beyond me. Digital natives have skills that would make a contortionist envious.
Later, when I arrived home, my kids burst through the front door and within 60 seconds were all perched on a chair with their tablets in hand. I sighed. I wasn’t sure what to do anymore; if I let them, they’d spend the next six hours before bed without taking their eyes off the screen, not even to eat!
I have spoken to many parents who, like me, have no frame of reference when it comes to raising digital kids. My childhood was Barbie, Trixie Belden and in the mid-80s, we got our own Atari console. So, this issue, we went in search of a children’s technology expert to find out if we should be worried about how much time our kids spend ‘plugged in’.
Dr Kristy Goodwin says we need to drop the techno-guilt and embrace healthy and helpful ways to use technology in our lives. But, our digital editor, Babs, raises some important questions about what kids are doing online and what degree of supervision we need to impose on their activities on social media.We want to know what you think too, so we’ve set up a survey to hear from the mums and dads on the ground – if you answer a few short questions you go into the draw to win a copy of Dr Goodwin’s book, Raising Your Child In A Digital World. Please go to HERE to complete the confidential survey.
And, see that delicious child on the front cover? She’s mine. She’s with her #BFF, Jess. These are two eight-year-old’s who know their way around technology better than a NASA scientist. So, if you’ll excuse me, I need to go and interrupt her latest YouTube production so she can do her homework…
I hope you enjoy this issue,