Thursday, March 3, 2011

Our version of parenting

We don't own a Wii. Or an Xbox, or a PlayStation or a Nintendo or an Atari. (Ha, I'm so old that I can remember playing Atari.)

We don't have smart phones. My kids don't know what Angry Birds is. I don't know what Angry Birds is. I have never entertained my children by allowing them to play with my cell phone.

My kids listen to music that is age appropriate. Songs like Baby Beluga. And Skitamarink. Or their Little People CDs. They don't know any mainstream music.

In our house, we have princess glass slippers. Also known as trains for Little People.

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Horses on the ranch.

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Stickers.

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Princess learning books with read along CDs.

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Gymnastics.

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For babies and animals as well.

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Rock star try-outs. (Allie is strumming the Barbie guitar while singing "I'm a rock star.")

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Meals for bunnies.

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And Elmo.

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And babies.

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Books.

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And puppet shows.

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The intent of this post is not to judge others but to show what our house is like. Although the girls do watch television, we limit what they watch and for how long.

I look at it this way. They aren't even four years old yet. They have years and years in the future in which to use these items. If they don't know what those items are right now, I don't need to be the one to introduce them into their lives at this age. We are fine just the way we are.


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35 comments:

Mom of the Twinkies and Tot! said...

I'm a teacher and most technology is horrible for such young kids! Teaching 1st grade and seeing how it kills their imagination and their eagerness to do anything other than play computers or video games is crazy. My kids will not do any of that until they are in the double digits with age at least! If it were up to me they'd never play video games! Haha!

Tina Michelle said...

So neat to get a little glimpse into your home. Every family is different in their beliefs and how they handle the electronics.

Colleen said...

Looks like a fun place!

Julia said...

Great to see your activities! Loved the gymnastics props.

I am also non-judgmental of others because that stuff is everywhere nowadays and it is reeeeally difficult to keep away, but we also have a no-gadget policy around here. I mean, they do play with my cell-phone, but that is for pretend-calling Grandma, because they don't know any other function for it. And watch some baby and ballet videos on Youtube because we do not own a TV set (never have, we are freaks like that - I too would fall too easily into temptation if I had a TV and the time I spend on the Internet is enough). My desire for an iPad (that I want mainly for work purposes) is being held back now not only by the price, but also because I know how easily they would learn how to deal with it and become addicted (had a demo when my mom brought hers last week).

Lease said...

It's nice to hear that we are not the only family that limits what and how much technology our kids are exposed to.
I think it's wonderful that you are letting your kids be kids for now. No need to rush growing up.

Jennifer M. said...

thumbs up!

BabyLove said...

I think this is WONDERFUL! A friend of mine entertains her 3 year old by letting him play Call of Duty, a very violent video game and the language the characters use (which her 3 year old son repeats) is just horrible. I think some parents are lazy so its easier for them to hand their child a game controller, remote or cell phone to play with. What ever happened to getting down on the floor and playing along with your child? Anyway, I also plan on only exposing my son to age appropriate entertainment, so thanks for this post! :)

Mackenzie said...

o ya i was going to tell you this a while ago but i babysit my neighbors quite often and they get bored reeeeeally easily. they have those same princess toys and so i told them about your kids idea of playing with them like visiting the princesses with little people and they loved it they wouldnt go to bed and their parents said the second they woke up they were playing again. They also added another twist:......the little people like to marry the prinncesses and if two little people marry the same one then they get into a fight.

Tracy said...

AMEN!!!! I couldn't agree with your parenting style more!!! I LOVE how you capture natural random moments SO WELL with your photography... gorgeous!

JEN said...

Atari was something back in the day though, wasn't it?

I agree. It's only Sesame Street and sometimes Super Why at our house.

I despise electronic toys.

Anjie said...

I think that's awesome. I wish I could be a super mom too.

Anonymous said...

I LOVE your style of parenting! Those activities are wonderful - and your girls are beautiful!

Kathleen

aninaduren said...

Our twins are only one, but we have chosen this same style of parenting. I want them to ride bikes, climb trees and actually use their imaginations to entertain them. Way to go! Your daughters are beautiful and seem very happy.

Anonymous said...

My children, age 3 and 9, have wonderful imaginations. They have been exposed to TV, video games, computer games, and electronic toys. (All age appropritate) They see parents who use their phone for work and sometimes work continues after we've gotten home. They know the grandparents are working when they are watching them as well, the need for the 3 computers in my house. My garage has been converted to a "movie theater" ropes and all. They play out there pretending to take tickets and determining the next show. We play games and have a family night slumber party on Fridays. They have toys galore here. They go to school during the day so when they get home they are spent. They have done their 10ish hours of imagination and need time to veg out. They watch a movie before bed sometimes. I don't think I'm hurting my children and I don't think technology is hurting them either. My children will not be those kids who can't go anywhere without their DS but they will understand the technology around them. It's part of educating your child. You have to prepare them for the world they live in. Just another side to the opinion.

Angela said...

My husband and I love our smartphones, our Wii, my Cruz tablet, and my Macbook. HOWEVER, we have both discussed the fact that we grew up without all of these things and so will our kids. They don't get to watch hours and hours of tv when they'll have toys, parks, friends, and hopefully cousins (we're both the oldest in our families so that might be awhile...) and siblings to play with. I LOVE crafting and reading, and by golly, our kids will, too! They don't get a choice in the matter. Haha. I feel justified now that I see we are not the only ones who want our kids to have an "old-fashioned upbringing. Love it.

P.S. Happy Birthday. :-) (Saw it on your hubby's blog.)

Julia said...

To Anonymous: as I said in my post, I do not think it is necessarily wrong to (reasonably) expose your children to electronics and such, but I also think it is totally unnecessary at least until the teens. THere is nothing so complicated or complex about these things that a literate 15 year-old (or a 90 year-old, for that matter) cannot grasp in a short time. I was brought up without all the stuff and I really do not feel any shortcomings in my tech-savvyness in relation to all the teenagers I know who were born after the WWW. As for the cultural references, yearly vacations at my grandmother's were enough for me to feel updated on all series, soap operas and such that the other kids talked about.

Julia said...

But what I really came back here for today was to wish Sarah a happy birthday! Hope you have a lovely day with your girls and some adult fun too!

Sarah said...

I'm enjoying all the comments. (Thank you, Julia and Angela.)

Anon - not judging at all. I never said that kids who do these things have no imagination. I have it easier than you in that my kids are all the same age - you have a 9 year old. That's a whole different situation.

I've always said this and will continue to say so - what works for one family works for that family. Everyone is different.

Elizabeth said...

While I respect your version of parenting and think that it is really wonderful, I don't think you pay enough heed to the point that all three of your children are exactly the same age and together all of the time. They are each others built in playmates.

I also have 3 children but they are 2 years and then 9 years apart. The little one, who is often alone with me for 10 hours per day does use electronics. Otherwise, that's alot of imagination and how am I supposed to get things done when I'm playing imaginative games for 10 hours?

I agree with your point that each family must do what works for them but what doesn't seem to be coming thru in your post is that you realize that the girls are each others constant playmates.

Sarah said...

Wow! Did I not specifically state in my post that I was not judging others?

Elizabeth said...

Sarah,
I did not mean offense and did not AT ALL take it that you were judging anyone.

My only point is that it's a different scenario when you have 3 children who are all the same age and constantly together. That is a fortunate situation in terms of constant playmates. It does make the removal and reduction of tv alot easier. When you have 1, it's alot harder.

I might have said it poorly but I did not mean anything by it and did not take offense at your post.
I was only trying to make that point.

Anonymous said...

Ha! My kids used to check your blog on their smartphones, but not anymore! Lol, but seriously if you need to specify that you are not judging, chances are you are!

Luci said...

Amen, my daughter doesn't know what any of that stuff is. I think a lot has to do with the fact that she is the first. I love to see what fun games her imagination can come up with. Thanks for sharing.

Anonymous said...

i agree to a degree. i do think that age appropriate shows are actally good for little kids, if not abused time-wise. maybe an hour a day? my 2.5 year old twins are being raised bilingual- they speak, communicate and know everthing (colors, shapes, etc) in two languages. right now, they are at home with me and the only language i speak to them is the non-english one...daddy and the rest of the world is providing them with english. i cannot tell you how much english that have picked up from barney, wordworls and team umizumi. so in certain cases, it's good stuff!

and also, i would like to add that there are times, even with multiples, when they simply do not want to play anymore and want to watch some tv while i make lunch for them. see, not everyone works ot of the house and has a built-in nanny or grandmother, to take care of the kids while not in preschool.

i think that sometimes, working mothers are not in touch with reality of taking care of kids all day long and what it entails.

with all due respect.

kelly

Sarah said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sarah said...

The whole point of this post is what our house is like - not what everyone else should or shouldn't do. I think everyone missed the fact that I was calling myself and Rich old - we don't have a Wii b/c I wouldn't know what to do with one. I don't have an iPhone b/c I don't think I need one. Does that mean that I judge others who have them? No, because half of the population has a smart phone.

My kids watch television - I stated that. We do try to limit it. We don't have a specific amount of time - it all depends on the day. I'm sure there are people out there who would say that they watch too much tv.

I specifically stated in my post that I was not judging other b/c others judge me and my parenting all the time. My kids eat too much crap. I don't know how to get my kids to go to bed the right way. Emily is my favorite. My kids have too many toys. They eat Wendy's.

Being judged sucks and I know that first hand.

And Kelly, although I work full time I do know what it is like to raise my kids. I was at home with them full time for the first 15 months. I am home all weekend with them. I spend all of my vacation time with them. I break up fights over toys all the time.

I'm really sorry that I can't write posts that everyone is 100% happy with.

Pyjammy Pam said...

This is great! And it makes me realize that I'm kind of doing this with my kids too. Although they watch WAY too much tv. But I love it when they just play and use their imagination. It's so fun to watch!

And aren't we lucky to have three kids the same age to play together? It's the upside of having triplets. :D

sourpatchkids said...

Um. People are crazy. I love this post and am completely inspired by it. My son is 8 months old and I want him to play the way I used to. Yes, I played the good ole super nintendo, but I played outside until the street lights came on at night with the neighbor kids (all of my siblings were at least 9 years older than me). I played barbies (by myself) like all get out until I was 14! I loved my baby dolls and had TONS of them. I played with them too. When I was really young and my brother that was 9 years older than me was still at home we played cars together. We would pretend or coffee table was a neighborhood with streets.

We had a lot of fun. There is SO much technology today and I want to make sure my child is not wrapped up in it.

Sure, he will watch tv. He does now he LOVES Mickey Mouse Clubhouse! He will play computer games...SPARINGLY. I'll limit it.

I didn't feel judged by this post in the least bit.

I love how imaginative your girls are!

katy said...

I love seeing all the games your adorable girls play! Especially the princess shoe trains, how cute :) Thanks for giving us a peek into life in your home!

Wendy said...

You're a great parent and provider for your kids, S. I can't believe some people are actually commenting shitty remarks about it. If TV works in your house (and it does in mine, don't get me wrong) then let her rip. Don't give someone else garbage because they choose to not have the 'modern conveniences' in theirs.
Tina said it best, "Every family is different in their beliefs"

Wendy said...

Also, Sourpatch, I think I love you a little.

Katie said...

Oh, my word! Anybody who thinks Sarah is judgmental has seriously not read her blog. I mean, really?

My 4 year old has a ds. He also has a dvd player in the van. He also has an 11 year old sister and two 15 year old brothers. There is absolutely no way we can keep him from being exposed from electronics, nor would I want to. He loves to play with other kids and between church three times a week and my babysitting once a week, he gets lots of interaction with kids. His imagination is amazing and I really think is a bit enhanced by his game-playing.

That being said, he is limited on the time he's allowed to play video games or watch dvds. We don't have cable, so his actual television time is pretty-much non-existant.

I enjoyed this post. I love to see inside other people's homes. I love to see how multiples interact. It's fascinating to me.

Michele said...

Love your post and I love seeing how much imagination your girls have. I especially love how they still remember the Disney autograph lines :)

We have all those things (the phones, the computer games, and the Wii), and you know what? My kids could care less. They'd much rather play with a box of popscicle sticks than a handheld game. And I'm really OK with that.

Amy said...

What a sweet post! Love all the pictures.

sara said...

I had one child for two years, and have had three for three years... the built in playmate thing is only as true as the having only one child at a time is easy thing.

Children of all ages will usually play together, if given the tools and the opportunity. Coloring pictures is fun for toddlers and teenagers. As is reading books, dancing, playing imaginary games... all the things that Sarah enjoys seeing her girls do. Admittedly, different ages would have different approaches, but writing this off as "you just don't get it because you have triplets" is crazy.

Sarah, your girls seem to have wonderful imaginations. I think that encouraging that, along with a love of reading, is the best gift a parent can give a child. Looks like a happy home to me!