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:

We’re analog parents raising digital kids in a digital age. We spoke to a few Chicago moms about their experience in the digital world of parenting.

Kris Cain

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

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

Some parents, however, are still uncomfortable withletting their children fully embrace technology. Some believe thatimagination play is more important than technology. Some are afraidtoo much screen time is bad for their children.

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

I spoke to a few Chicago area moms about their thoughts onkids 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 thisdigital 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 thanyou? 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 thisdigital 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 thanyou? 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 thisdigital 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 thanyou? 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 thisdigital 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 thanyou? 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 thisdigital 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 thanyou? 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 thisdigital 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 thanyou? 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.


Looking for more on the digital world? Check out our Media &Technology page, where we share blogs, stories, pins, appsuggestions and more!

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