Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Between me and Ma!

“You better keep them away from those computers, iPads and iPhones. I just read an article in the newspapers today how they harm the delicate minds of kids. I am so thankful that none of these gadgets existed while I was raising you. Didn't you have a pleasurable childhood without these things? Why don’t you understand how bad they are? They’ll turn your otherwise smart kids into junkies. I am not going to tell you again. Do whatever you want. You are a mother now and it’s your obligation towards it that you raise your kids in the best possible way……,” Ma shrieked on the phone and before I could open my mouth to say something, she banged it.

This is not the first time she has called especially to lecture me about how I am spoiling my kids by allowing them the access of iPad and computer. While I understand and appreciate her heartfelt concerns, I expect her to realize that time has changed drastically since she brought me up and it’s important to be in pace to grow and nurture. I grew up in a different atmosphere. Although, I didn't have any gadgets to my fancy, there were a number of other activities/things that never made me look for anything else. I was growing up in the safe and secure zone without having to worry about the child molesters and perverts around. In vacations, I would roam around my entire colony freely without Ma having to worry about my safety. And those busy days full of outdoor activities never made me realise the absence of gadgets or even a computer at home.

Times have changed today. I freaking worry each day about the safe return of my kids back home from school. It really embarrasses me beyond your imagination when I ask my kids if anyone had touched them ‘badly’ during their stay out of the home. I die a guilt-death each day when I literally take names to bring out things like ‘Did Mr Cleaner touch you anywhere apart from your hand while helping you get in the bus????’

While I agree with Ma that the time kids spend on these gadgets should be limited, I am totally against not using them entirely. Technology has advanced in leaps and bounds and what’s the use if we don’t exploit it in our favour! There are some wonderful apps available that teach kids to solve Maths or Language puzzles in the friendliest ways that sometimes even we fail to. So, where’s the harm if they are learning something new along with some recreation? Yes, I do not allow downloading those car-crashing games or similar ones but I never stop them from indulging into something that has an educational or creative value linked to it.

I understand that Ma’s concerns are mostly because she isn't much aware about these apps and all she can relate an iPad or a computer to is games and more games. With due respect to her, I think I am going to spend a good part of my stay in her home, during upcoming vacations, explaining her how great the tool is. And she being a teacher herself, I am sure, will finally succumb to its heavens. Touché!

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