Parenting in the modern world
There can be little debate that parenting in 2017 is different to parenting 30 years ago. The advent of new technologies which are increasingly aimed at children have changed the landscape of ‘how to keep the kids entertained’ while also giving parents more options during their weekly 2 minute shower. Peppa Pig episodes on the iPad have replaced drawing in the coal dust with gout-addled fingers, and a phone gallery full of badly framed toddler selfies aren’t uncommon. ‘But how to harness them safely?’ I hear literally no one ask. Here’s my hard-won advice on life with kids in the digital age:
Get an ipod touch. They can’t make calls on it and run up a phone bill, as long as you never give them the password to download paying apps and add-ons. Fill it with their favourite cartoons and music and games, and sit back and enjoy approximately 4 minutes of peaceful respite. Also useful on car journeys and at boring weddings. Turn the sounds off for funerals.
Embrace the filter. Not the ones for the ends of your old-fashioned ciggies, but the snapchat/instagram/facebook camera filters which instantly take 10 years off your haggard face. Leave people’s disappointment and surprise at your premature aging for face to face interactions, which makes it harder for them to tell you that you look like death since having kids.
Use whatsapp to argue with your significant other. It’s free and instant, and doesn’t limit your lengthy explanations of why they are a useless imbecile. You don’t want to run out of data at the pivotal moment when you conclude your rant about staring at your neighbour’s slim, younger wife do you? No. Exactly.
Get a 2 player, age appropriate game for your console. We like anything with Lego, and it saves spending time playing with actual lego which can be dangerous if swallowed. Kids have fairly quick reactions, and their little fingers and inquisitive minds make finding hidden bonus levels a breeze. It’s what your ancestors would have wanted for them.
Encourage children to become multi-millionaires by creating a youtube channel which teaches teens how to apply make up with various household objects. They love stuff like that. 100 years ago we were all interested in the advancement of science, but these days if a 17 year old applies concealer with a dead rabbit’s paw or dyes their hair with their grandma’s ashes we lose our tiny minds with excitement. Grab a camera and talk utter drivel, it’s where the money is.
Raising kids in 2017 need not be as technologically risky as reports staring out from your iPhone tell you. Remember, that phone was most likely made by an orphaned child earning 2p a week. The clothes you are wearing were probably stitched by a 3 year old in noisy factory while they try to pay their way through night classes. Kids and technology mix well, so don’t be afraid to embrace the changes. Remember, it’s much safer to look at Google Earth than it is to go outside. You won’t get stung by a wasp on Google Earth, will you?