Chicago moms dish on raising digital natives

 
 

Kris Cain, otherwise known as blogger Little Tech Girl, spoke to a few Chicago area moms about their thoughts on kids and technology. Here is what they had to say:

 
 

Kris Cain

Times have changed. As a mother of two sets of twins, I think a lot about my kids and technology. My work is in technology, so we have our fair share of tech in the home-computers, tablets, smartphones and gaming systems. My kids can pick up any one of those devices at any time and be right at home. They live in a digital age.

This is life now. And we as parents have to get used to it.

Some parents, however, are still uncomfortable with letting their children fully embrace technology. Some believe that imagination play is more important than technology. Some are afraid too much screen time is bad for their children.

Whatever the case may be, the subject of kids and tech is one that comes up over and over again.

I spoke to a few Chicago area moms about their thoughts on kids and technology. Here is what they had to say.

 
 

Chantelle Bittings

Hometown: Chicago

Kids: Two (10, 7)

In home tech: My sons each have their own Kindle Fire. Occasionally they use the laptop or desktop, and they have a Wii, Xbox and a Nintendo DS.

How do you feel about raising your kids in this digital age? It is my hope and my plan to appropriately expose my kids to as much technology as possible. Their devices are always monitored via parental controls. Also, I am happy that their school is on the cutting edge of technology in the classrooms.

Are your kids more tech savvy than you? My kids are moderately tech savvy. I think I still know a little bit more, but they catch on fast, so it's only a matter of time.

 
 

Joyce Cunningham

Hometown: Schererville, Ind.

Kids: Six (20, 12, 10, 8, 4, 6 months)

In home tech: We have a range of things including three Nintendo DSi, Wii, two PCs, one laptop, one tablet, Xbox, one iPod Touch, three cellphones, three CD/iPod players.

How do you feel about raising your kids in this digital age? It's expensive raising kids in this tech age, but it's necessary if you want them to have a competitive advantage. I was embarrassed at my son's fourth-grade science fair when his classmates presented presentations on their iPads and he had a basic poster board. I felt I had failed him. I have recently relaxed my Internet access controls to allow them to Google at will. It's the way they learn and research now. I like that schools are providing them with laptops and tech training. This forces me to get with the times and they actually teach me a little something.

Are your kids more tech savvy than you? Definitely. When my oldest son was 8, we bought him his first phone and gave it to him before setting the controls. By day two, I went to set the controls and he had already purchased and played three games, four songs, password protected his phone, and sent/received several text messages. That's when I knew the kids were officially more tech savvy than me.

 
 

Ronni Roseman

Hometown: Chicago

Kids: Two (8, 7)

In home tech: They have access to my Kindle Fire, a laptop, a desktop, Wii, Xbox, PS2, DSi XL and a Leapfrog Leapster.

How do you feel about raising your kids in this digital age? I'm a little uncomfortable. I don't like how much access every Tom, Dick and Harry has to MY information, let alone what my kids might stumble upon. I don't want my kids to fall behind the digital learning curve, but I also don't want them desensitized and unable to function socially because their faces are constantly buried in some type of screen.

Are your kids more tech savvy than you? They're not more savvy than I am, and I intend to keep it that way! Gotta stay on top of things, stay at least one step in front of them in order to protect them from the world and themselves.

 
 

Maria Tiongco Ramos

Hometown: Aurora

Kids: Four (10, 8, 7, 5)

In home tech: We have three Android tablets, one iPad, two iPod Touches, three laptops and two smartphones.

How do you feel about raising your kids in this digital age? There are definite advantages and disadvantages. One great advantage is that there are many more resources available to my kids at the touch of their fingers, especially when it comes to education. My kids are using technology to enhance and reinforce what they are learning in class. The disadvantage is that sometimes they will get wrapped up in their electronic devices and forget to just play with their friends. As a parent, I try to encourage my kids to have a balance between digital and offline. And they need to know how to protect themselves.

Are your kids more tech savvy than you? In some areas, I think that my kids are more tech savvy than I am. They are very fast learners. Even my 5-year-old can do things faster than me on the iPad. On the other hand, because my job is to try to be as tech savvy as I can, I am able to show my kids things in technology they may not know. They are now asking if they can have their own blogs and YouTube channels.

 
 

Sharon Patrice

Hometown: Park Forest

Kids: Four (26, 22, 13, 13)

In home tech: My family uses a variety of devices including desktops, laptops, iPad, Kindle, Blackberry, iPhone, Androids and a Wii.

How do you feel about raising your kids in this digital age? Being tech savvy is a must for this generation. It is the way that most communicate daily. For my two adult children, I wouldn't know what is going on in their lives if it weren't for the ability to ™power up∫ some electronic device. At school, my youngest two use electronics on a daily basis to complete assignments.

Are your kids more tech savvy than you? By all means! They understand what is at their fingertips and use it to their advantage.

 
 

Sidney Reid

Hometown: Chicago

Kids: Three (18, 7-year-old twins)

In home tech: We have one desktop PC, a laptop, three adult tablets, two child-friendly tablets, a Wii, and two DSi.

How do you feel about raising your kids in this digital age? In general, I think raising children in this digital age can be frustrating because they are exposed to things earlier than we were thanks to technology. We are raising a generation of kids who might not know the joys of dog-earing a book because they read on a Kindle. They have no clue about going to the library because they use Google.

Are your kids more tech savvy than you? I think my oldest is more tech savvy than I am. My 7-year-olds will be more tech savvy than their brother because they are younger and will have the newer, more advanced technology available to them earlier than he did. It will be their only way of life.

 
 

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