If ever there was proof of the change in modern parenting techniques, it has to be my daughter, sitting on the toilet, swiping through photos on my iPad. She’s moved past the “passively watching” stage and now turns it on, swaps between apps and changes the volume. She’s not quite 2.5.
There’s a part of me that’s quite proud. Being a bit technology obsessed (we have iEverything in the illiterate household) I can’t help getting a kick out of seeing my little girl effortlessly pick up gadgets that can confound her grand parents. There’s another part of me that’s excited at the prospect of being able to justify further technology purchases to ensure her intellectual and cognitive development continues to develop (I’ve seriously tried using that sentence) at its current, cracking pace – the last thing she wants to do is turn up to playgroup with an outdated iPhone.
What surprised me on the weekend was finding another part of me. The part that realised that although my daughter seems to enjoy her training as highly skilled computer wizard (obviously a well socialised, creative and athletic one), that she is probably happiest when she’s just hanging out with Mum and Dad in the back garden.
It got me thinking about how much “stuff” we (my household – you may be different) use in raising our little girl that probably isn’t as essential as we say it is. Stuff like the toys she keeps getting. She has boxes of stuffed toys of which about three get used. There’s a whole pretend kitchen but most of the time she is happy to play with a little plastic plate that works as a frying pan, steering wheel or Frisbee. There’s a doll’s house, farm house, plastic animals, wooden animals and jigsaws.
I found myself asking do we really need all this stuff or could someone else use it instead…
Now I’m not one for enormous gestures. The closest I’ve been to charity is dropping some shrapnel into a Salvos tin or pretending to care about a charity to impress a girl but there’s something about this whole proud Dad gig that has brought out a softer side in me. This softer side has decided that I need to get acquainted with how lucky I am to have what I have and then teach my little girl (and what ever else is appearing early next year) the same thing. So this year we’re going to learn about giving to others, which is where you lot (this most knowledgeable and wise blogging community) come in.
I’d love to know how you would go about this lesson. How would you explain the concept to a 2.5 year old girl and what would you do. Mrs Illiterate Infant has already come up with the idea of a [insert department store name] wishing tree which is good as little miss 2.5 can be involved in finding a gift and “giving” it away. I’ve also heard a great tip about giving away the toys you no longer use before Christmas and taking them to Vinnies or similar.
So, your help would be really appreciated. What do you recommend? What would you do? What have you done?
NB: The conclusions of this post were partially arrived at via an apple device – sponsorship proposals will be considered, preferably a ipad.