Maybe I do not plan to buy a plane or hire a driver just yet, but I do see the point on good sleep and holidays! Enjoy and listen to it again and again - it contains very valuable points! I think it was one of the most inspiring presentations of Le Web.
Entries in FAMILY (5)
On days like this one I open the window of our living room and listen to the evening noise of birds in the garden, to the raindrops on the pavement and enjoy the cold breeze. Yes, I am pretty cold, but that's not the point!
I feel the natural forces of nature. I am going back to the roots of our species. The feeling of sunshine on my eyelids and rain on my cheeks reminds me all the elements we are made of. I think tonight it was all brought up by few songs, specially the one featured below.
When I was in Moldova I met an old lady, a grandma, a woman who spends her days cultivating soil, plans, sun and water....I could not help but think about the change our lives have experiences in so much as one or two generations! My own father - before he became an educated lawyer, still as a child had the responsibility to take the household cattle to the feels and would spend his day in the sun reading books!
Life - at least my family life - has moved into the warm and cosy houses, super-fast trains and undergrounds. There are theories that our need to go back to the nature, to plant and to cultivate is strongly related to the need for embodiment of a deity - maybe. I think that for me it's a simple reminder that are a part of a larger (eco)system.
It is nice to go back to our roots. Even if just by opening a window or sitting out in front of the house and enjoying the sun, the wind, the rain even. Doesn't make you feel more...at peace and more alive? Doesn't it touch the core of who we are?
It has been a while since I posted something slightly more personal. As I am coming back to more active blogging and re-gain my work-home balance I have been spending a lot of time...in the library and in the kitchen. Yes, for some of my friends both are pretty shocking.
First of all I have realised that the lack of a dedicated place for reading and writing kills my creativity. We have been working really hard in finding solutions and finally managed to dedicate a small room (used to be our office) to reading. This new space has brought amazing changes to our family life. My son loves to spend time on one of the two red beanbags and read his books. I cannot help but wonder how fast he is learning - HE CAN READ NOW! What a step towards endless worlds of imagination hidden in pages of his books. My boyfriend has now a place where he can sit down and chill out with a book too. Me - well, I got back to writing and switching off completely. Maybe the books I am reading at the moment (I like to read a few at once) are still related to my work more than anything, but the process is much more enjoyable now that I can stretch on a beanbag, have my cup of coffee and warm, tiny little room just for that activity!
Secondly, I have managed to put aside my terrible assumptions about complexity of preparing meals. I was never really drawn into the kitchen so all this is pretty new to me. Thanks to Gocha and her kind support on bread making I have baked my first loafs and really enjoyed it!
This week I sat down and opened a great book on bread making borrowed from my great landlady (who is brilliant in introducing me to British classics!) - somewhat to combine the two "new" passions only to discover how very basic bread is to humans! I am reading trough the history and skill of bread making. I am spending much more time in local stores learning about various types of bread and flour...Time stops!
Really, what would the world look like without bread?!
I like to question things we take for granted. It opens up new worlds to me and reminds me that maybe I am good at what I do for living but what really is important is the respect for what is here and now.
I just had a great discussion with attendees of Media Camp Nottingham 4 on kids and technology. As I need to run to join my family, I will just include the slides and recording of the session for now, hoping that I can add my points a bit later too! In the meantime, enjoy the bits below;)
Thank you to the organisers for having me over!
I am so proud of my son! He finally understood the importance of personal passwords! Today for second or third time Dawid turned his head away from me when I was typing in my iPad password to let him play his games. I think that when it comes to teaching kids safe Internet (or for that matter technology) experience one needs to work on few levels.
First - and the most important - is the mutual understanding and trust.
I worked out that Dawid has a school password the day he received it - he simply told me about it. OK, in our case, seeing both grown ups in front of laptops most of the time, for him it was an important initiation, something to talk about. But how to ensure they always share their new technological experiences with us? Well, I think that if you have a good communication channel and habits, it becomes yet another topic for discussion. Do you talk to your kids about how they feel about the weather? What are their friendships like? What are their passions, but also fears? You might think it's irrelevant, but if for us, parents technology and Internet become an important area of every-day life, why would it not be the same for our kids? We love, we play, we discover, we feel concerned or surprised, praised or down - both off-line AND on-line.
When I talk to my son about new game or iPad app (somehow iPad ended up as kids device, no?) I discuss it just as seriously as we discuss watching films or meeting friends - we manage it together, but I set up the rules and we need to trust each other (he has to trust my fair judgment, I have to trust his loyalty).
When I explained to him the idea of password as a personal information, just like a wallet or his school bag, which he would not like me to look into all the time - he seemed to be able to apply it to his and mine password too.
Secondly - setting up, explaining and sticking to the rules.
Rules equal security and stability. Some parents might not realise, as it's usually situations like ours that make us study the topic more. My son has lost his dad fairly early, so I had to ensure building the image and sense of HOME in his head and heart. I was lucky to realise and be served with advice that rules and restrictions are really not so much about limitations for kids, but about familiarity and security. Rules need to be clear, fair and human. They provide us all with clear understanding of how the world works. So why not set them up with transparent explanation of what they are for. And of course consequent follow up.
My son for example was a bit overwhelmed with YouTube videos of cartoons, Simon's Cat and various vehicles. Initially it looked like a good discovery, which sadly fairly quickly turned into addition, which let to slightly aggressive and fussy behaviour. So really, rule of not browsing YouTube videos on iPad (alternative of rare one or two videos on laptop is still here) had to be set up. I have also suggested alternatives - NASA has a great app for kids, including videos of space discoveries - all WITHIN the app.
As for the password - I simply set up the password and explained that I have to know when he is using the device and how to ensure he is doing it right. It is also my own device, so it is fairly easy to see it as a question of accessing my - not his - device.
Finally - using available technical solutions to manage kids' activities.
Talking is great, managing behaviour too, but in some cases technical approach might help too. Regardless of the device or activity there are solutions that parents can predefine before kids start the experience.
You can mange the activities, access to various types of content, as well as time of activity. As mentioned above, on iPad we had plenty of alternative activities. Creative (visual and musical apps), reference apps for kids, apps teaching ABC and maths, and finally games. On iPhone you can simply set up alarm clock to mark the end of play.
Password on iPad is a classic example of this too.
I do not think any of the three levels of my management of Dawid's experience of technology and Internet would work on its own. Setting up a lock on device is useless, if kids can access Internet from various sources. Setting up a rule without management of content is not enough. And at the end of the day - if we do not talk to kids and do not trust each other - be it password, be it a rule - it will become impossible to manage their on-line behaviour. (I do not even dare to use the word "control" - I would argue the idea of control, even with kids).