Many technology top executives like the late Steve Jobs were known to be low-tech parents. In fact, they limit their children with strict times of use. Like them, I want to strive to be a low-tech parent. Being an 80’s baby, I was raised in a world where kids played outside until sundown and creatively played indoors not just with their toys but with their imagination.
A few months ago, I saw a Nature Valley commercial about this generation of children being interviewed along with their parents and grandparents. In the commercial, they were asked what did they do for fun as kids? Both grandparents and parents said they would play outside all day and mentioned creative games and activities that obviously did not involve technology back then.
Afterward, their children answered and they said they would spend hours upon hours on their tablets or phone, playing games, watching videos, or surfing the net. They said how upset and anxious they were when they were grounded by their parents and had their technology gadgets taken away from them. One even mentioned that she would die without it! When their parents watched their children’s responses, they began to cry. (Click HERE to watch the commercial) This was a reinforcement for me to be determined to raise my children to have fun sans tablets and technology (or limited use). I know my toddler boy is only 2 but we are off to a great start! Here is a look of a few of our daily activities.
- 9.30am When Caleb wakes up it’s mommy and Caleb time
- Breakfast. Morning prayer before eating his usual cereal and eggs
- Reading time. We’ve been reading to Caleb since he was a newborn, It’s never too early to read to your baby! Every morning Caleb chooses 3-4 books.
- Play time. Play time varies day to day but we often do similar activities. Some of our playtime activities consist of:
- Coloring. He’s learned all his colors and as we color together he says every color he’s using in English and in Spanish
- Play drums. He definitely takes after his parents. He wants to be like daddy (who plays drums) and he plays drums with his kiddie drum set
- Build blocks (Mega Bloks)
- Go over the ABC’s, numbers, and shapes with flashcards and songs
- 11am Caleb’s bath time. It’s a ½ hour of water fun while he plays with his bath toys
- 11.30am Caleb plays with Olivia (his 10 month old baby sister when she wakes up from her nap). He jumps for joy every time she wakes up. They laugh together while playing and speaking baby talk that sometimes, only they understand. He loves to push her in her walker all over our home.
- 1.30pm Lunch time. At home, we prefer to feed our children a nutritious, homecooked meal. I like to change it up so that the babies have a variety and do not get bored of the same foods. From chicken soup, to veggie soup, to chicken and rice, or fish with baked potato, beans or lentils; they have a great appetite and enjoy mama’s cooking. Every other Friday, is pasta day (their favorite dish). I’ve learned that with patience and dedication, we can train our kids to eat just about anything!
- 2.30pm Nap time. My toddler takes a 2 hour nap everyday. It may be cut a ½ hour short from time to time but he usually sleeps a good 2 hours during his nap.
- 4.30pm Caleb wakes up and it’s cuddle time, he eats a light snack ranging from yogurt, fruit, cheese, etc.
- Play time. Consists of any activity mentioned above.
- Possible screen time. (30 mins.) He watches one episode of either Daniel Tiger, Super Why, or Sesame Street.
- 6pm Daddy’s home!!!
- Time to bust a move! Like almost every toddler, Caleb loves to dance. We play music for 30 mins. (usually the same song on repeat. LOL!) while we dance together and learn new dance moves
- Dinner time. We love to sit down together as a family. It’s a time I value and wish to instill these family traditions in our little ones. Our toddler is happiest when mommy and daddy are home together at the table. He loves when we gather and pray together before every meal.
- Family time. We prefer being outdoors in the evening when the sun isn’t beaming as hard. Sometimes we take Caleb to the basketball courts and he plays with his dad or other times we go for a walk around the neighborhood.
- 8.30pm Daddy and Caleb time (while mommy puts little sister to bed). Usually it is reading time, and then prepping for bedtime.
- 9.30pm Caleb’s bedtime. Our toddler has a late bedtime because it’s convenient for us since many times we have church activities in the evening.
This is what our toddler’s typical weekday looks like.
We tend to be outdoors during the weekend and I enjoy taking him out at least once or twice during the weekday whether it’s a local kid’s museum or visiting his cousins. Whenever we eat at a restaurant, he may tend to take longer to eat and we patiently feed him until he’s done eating. We have never found ourselves pulling out a tablet or phone, not even during our car rides. He loves to talk to us in the car, or sing along to his favorite tune, or stare out the car window. I believe that if we continue in this route, we won’t need to introduce technology to him until he needs it for school work, etc. He’s taught us that it IS possible to raise a child with low technology! And so can YOU if you want to. It’s never too late to start!