Thursday, 29 December 2016

Technology Headache!

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

"Ummi, can I have the computer today?", "Ummi can I just check out the blog now"?. "Ummi, will you promise today, that if I finish all the work I could use the computer?". "Ummi, can I quickly check something on the computer and then start reciting, please Ummi". 

Subhanallaah, yes, technology is indeed giving me a headache! I am just longing for a "No technology Zone", especially with Maimoonah these days!

While we introduced computers and screentime for her only after she turned three for educational purposes and even till now she uses only for educational activities, I am still not comfortable with the amount of addiction to it.

Over the past few years, she used the computer during weekends and she did not have anything much in it as there were only limited activities she could do. But as she has grown now, and with preteen syndromes and moods coming her way she has sooooooo many things to do on the computer that it has come to a point that she is unable to draw a line in usage. 

Some of you may say, so what she is not watching movies, she is not playing games, she is not into chatting with strangers, She writes stories, she does coding, she is learning her communication skills through emailing her friends, she is doing her independent learning, she is reading books online, she is doing research, she is learning new things every day, all this is, in fact, learning anyway, so what is the big deal? 

Well the point for me is, I notice that technology is killing creativity, it is killing human touch, it is killing the natural inclination that every child has within himself or herself which allows the child to do things naturally, it is making the body and mind lazy, it is a barrier for thinking out of the box, it can make the child dumb, and it is undoubtedly an awful addiction which can be a means to disobey our Lord and parents. 
I can support all of the above with evidence and what I am experiencing right now! The day there is no internet or for that matter no access to computer or technology, I find Maimoonah coming out with wonderful creativity. She would use her best handwriting and do a journal page, she would construct something solid, she would play with lego, she would make her snack or a mug of milk, take a book and go outside and sit in the sun, observe the birds, make a note on the bird log book, use the encyclopedias and come out with a small notebook with facts and theories, she would use the Qur'aan to find out an aayah or the tafseer to include in her facts book, I can go on and on and on... all this will not be looked at if the computer is in front of her.

Having said all this, I really do not want her to miss the benefits of the technology as well. I know how much of a help it is and being ignorant of technology these days is not a good idea either. Every subject is connected to technology and the facts and figures and skills learned through technology is also vast. And I clearly do not want her to misunderstand Islaam and some to the conclusion that technology is restricted because of it and thus create any hatred towards the dheen.

So how do we strike a balance?

I tried many things. I have taken away the computer and not returned until she get's her schedules right. I have also tried the usual "Finish your work, and you get the computer" attitude. I have even lost my temper and disconnected the internet on the computer. I have told my husband to deal with it. Even though some of the above seemed to work, I realised that was only very temporary.

Eventually, I took some time to rethink. Who am I dealing with? She is not a very young toddler anymore. She is growing up. She is developing her own desires. She has her weaknesses. She is struggling to draw a line. She is easily falling prey to her likeness and addiction. So I need to help her. I need to make sure she gets her priorities right. I need to make alternatives. I need to listen to her. I need to sit down and discuss with her. I need to find a solution along with her. 

So we sat and we listened to each other. I asked her to list what she needs to do every day on the computer. Then we allocated the time she needs for all of that. We agreed that she gets to use the computer morning and evening each day but for a certain number of hours, And depending on her performance of the week she gets to use it during weekends. The Agreement was made in front of her father and he made it clear that I report to him if and when the agreement is not adhered to and that he will decide the next step in case of any violations! 

Did it work? We are still to fully put into action. But Alhamdulillaah, there is a change, And I hope it will bring about a positive change overall inshaa Allaah. But I am also anticipating that it will take time, and I need to be calm but firm. She needs constant reminders. I need to pick her up when she is falling, I need to give her that attention and love when she needs it most, she needs challenging activities and interesting distractions, I need to give her motivation and I just need to give her my time! Inshaa Allaah. 

How do you deal with technology and kids? What are your thoughts? What is your strategy? 


Madrasa Aaminah said...

Subhanallah, Yep, me too undergoing the same with my multiple age kids.
I also some of the agreements as you sister.
As for me,letting them use it for a limited time in an open space is ok,because totally disconnecting them from it may make them long for it in an outer environment,also might create hatred towards the Deen as you mentioned. but being cautious of addiction is a must.

Masha Allah, your post was inspiring and the parents has the major role to play with growing teenagers in striking a balance on how they use the technology. Sometimes parents unawareness are making the younger generation trapped into this and lose all their creativity.
Anyway everything in moderate level is welcome.

Madrasa Aaminah said...

Sister, also have a look on a new documentary called "SCREENAGERS"

G Mom said...

AsSalamu aleykum, sister!

Thank you so much for your blog. I enjoy reading it and using all the materials!
I am a mother of 3 daughters, my oldest is 8 and I homeschool her. We live in Istanbul.
Would your daughter be interested in being her penpal?

Best regards,

Umm Maimoonah said...

@Madrasa Aaminah. May Allaah make it easy for all of us. Aameen. Inshaa Allaah will check it out!

Sister Amina Alaikum salaam, please email me at

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