Monday, February 16, 2015

Parenting Tip - Go Ahead and Use That Cell Phone!

Technology is here to stay and it just keeps getting better and smarter.  We can stay in the dark ages and fall behind the times, we can worry and fret about the bad uses of technology, or we can educate our children (and ourselves) and use technology!

I could not see the advantage of having a "smart phone" and was content to keep using my old cell phone.  I have a computer at home, I teach from home and I stay at home quite a bit, so why not just use my computer for all my internet needs?  But my children and friends told me once I bought a smart phone, I would immediately see the advantage and wonder how I got along without it.

They were right!  I LOVE my smart phone and use it all the time, especially to stay in touch with family and friends.  But I also use it when I teach piano and music classes.

I especially LOVE to use my phone when I'm around my grandchildren.  I take way too many photos and videos of them, but it's so easy to delete the ones I don't want, and it's so fun to utilize the ones I do want.

Not only is the camera fun to use on a cell phone, but I love using the video recorder and voice recorder.

Here are some ways I've taken technology and used it to enhance my fun--yes my fun!
Video recordings of:
1.  my grandchildren digging holes in the back yard, putting on puppet shows, dancing, coloring with chalk on sidewalk, singing
2.  my 92 year old father telling stories of his childhood on his dairy farm 
3.  my grandchildren making a "how to" video, such as "how to make a peanut butter sandwich"
4.  my piano students playing a piece, then uploading it to my private you tube channel so their family and friends can see it
5.  my banjo teacher showing me a new lick to learn on the banjo
6.  Church children singing a song that I sent to a sick teacher
7.  and of course, a million jumping on the trampoline stunts!

But here's the thing I love about using videos and having your cell phone so accessible.  You can use it to STOP TEMPER TANTRUMS, KEEP KIDS QUIET IN CRITICAL SITUATIONS, OR _________________ (you fill in). 

video 
Scene: Grandson, Tac, is playing the piano, but grandson, Asher wants to play it. Tension is building!
Dialogue--- Me: [Look how Asher's] waiting patiently.  Notice he's not crying.  He's frustrated and he wishes his brother would hurry up but he's patiently waiting. 
Asher:  No, I'm not!
                                               (Well, at least he's not crying and hitting his brother!)
IDEA:  Video record or snap a picture of your children doing what you want them to do.  In other words, be positive and focus on the short times you catch them doing what they should be doing or encourage them to start doing it by video taping them.  How about when your children are picking up their toys, brushing their teeth, getting dressed, or practicing an instrument or doing their homework.  Send the video to Dad or grandma.  Make a slide show out of photos.

Here are some ways I've used Voice Recordings:
1.  My text notification is my grandson saying "grandma, you've got a text, grandma, you've got a text"
2.  Me playing a piece on my banjo.  It makes me nervous to record myself, but it helps me get over my nervousness when I record myself several times in a row.  It's a great way to practice for a recital or performance.
3.  My grandson saying words.  He is delayed with his speech, and this is a fun way to help him  practice saying tricky words.
4.  Music groups rehearsing for a performance.

IDEA: Record your child saying his spelling words, reciting a poem, playing a piece of music on his instrument.  Record yourself quoting a scripture you want to memorize, or a mantra to help you during the day.  Record your baby or children laughing.
 So go ahead and use your cell phone.  But make sure YOU are in control of it, not IT in control of you.  Use it for good and worthwhile purposes such as bringing loved ones far away closer to you, or as a teaching tool or as positive reinforcement.

What are some ways you have used your cell phone to help yourself or your family?

Thanks for reading,

Cathy
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