Blogger, “Mama Knows it All,” on Tech and her Girl

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In honor of the National Day of Unplugging this coming Friday (sundown March 7th-sundown March 8th), all the mamas over here at The Mother Company are doing some serious self-reflecting over the tech habits of our families. How much tech is too much tech?  What are the hazards?  What are the benefits? There’s no questioning the influence of technology in our lives as parents — so how can we set our kids off on the best possible relationship with this lifelong digital mate?  Brandi from Mama Knows It All,  explores her familial tech journey with us today.  — Sam Kurtzman-Counter, TMC President

Describe the role tech plays in your life.

As a Blogger and a Community Manager responsible for communicating with a network of over 1500 digital influencers, I am online all of the time. I have my computer in front of me most of the day, sending emails and having meetings via Google Hangout. When I’m driving, I have my earpiece on so I can check in over the phone with my co-workers or bloggers. It’s NON-STOP.

How do you feel about it?

I feel guilty about being so plugged in all of the time. It’s obsessive, you know? I mean, the checking of the email on my phone, the constant need to be chained to my laptop…sometimes I feel like I’m letting my family down by not being able to be fully present with them all of the time. But it’s my job. I have to do it. I’m working really, really hard to find balance, though.

How do you model your relationship to tech with your daughter?

Oh goodness, I’m a terrible model! I have had to teach my daughter that children have a different relationship with tech than adults do. She doesn’t get any screen time during the week unless it’s a very, VERY special circumstance. Fortunately, her preschool had the same pedagogy about technology and kids as I do, and they reinforce what I’m teaching her. I encourage her to be creative, to pull out construction paper and tape and glitter if she gets “bored”. She’s extremely imaginative and can think of a million different things to do when computers or television aren’t an option.

How much exposure to tech do you allow your daughter to have?

My daughter gets to watch about an hour or two of television throughout the weekend. That can be a combination of television shows or movies. She watches more when she’s at her grandparent’s house, but I’ve learned not to obsess over that. She has a little computer that has a learning game on it that I let her play a couple of times per month. Because it was educational, I was letting her play it just about every day, but I realized it wasn’t really TEACHING her as much as it really claimed that it would. It was really just entertainment. She’s 4. She has a million other ways to entertain herself outside of the computer!

What’s your best wish for how your daughter experiences and interacts with tech?

Well, I definitely want my daughter to be a master of tech. It’s the world we’re living in, right? The most successful people are the ones who are using technology to contribute to the world. I want her to be more than just a consumer of technology, but a creator, an innovator. Giving her the space to explore the non-digital world now, I think, will benefit her tremendously when it’s time for her to spend more time on the computer. She’ll have real life experiences and original thoughts to support her tech experience.

Brandi, mother of a four year old girl, wants her blog to serve as a “resource for women all over the world who are looking for encouragement as they figure out what being a mom means for them.” Through her blog, she has worked with such brands like, Stoneyfield Yogurt and Quaker Oats.

Please share any thoughts or questions you might have below in the comments section.  We love hearing from you!

The Mother Company aims to support parents and their children, providing thought-provoking web content and products based in social and emotional learning for children ages 3-6. Check out episodes of our “Ruby’s Studio” children’s video series,  along with our beautiful children’s booksappsmusichandmade dolls, and more.

Posted in: Parental Wisdom, Twitter Chat, Modern Parenting