Madeline, 36, is a photographer living in Swansea with her husband and their two children, aged 4 and 7.
Celebrating the best of the tech, Madeline mother of two shares how her family tech use has had a positive impact on her children and made it simple to speak to friends and family on the other side of the world.
The family uses technology extensively in daily life, with a home PC, laptop, iPad and two mobile phones, along with a Kindle e-book reader.
There aren’t any specific rules around technology, and Madeline says she’s very keen for her children to grow up familiar with all sorts of tech. “I think it’s important they can use computers, so we don’t have time limits,” she says. “If anything, we monitor them and their behaviour, and might suggest a break if it seems like it’s needed.”
This Christmas the family is considering investing in a fitness-tracker watch for Madeline’s 7-year-old son. Getting active and being outdoors is something that can be balanced with tech, Madeline believes. “My husband and son already love to go out for walks together to hunt Pokémon on the mobile phone,” she says.
Technology has also provided the family with some great educational benefits. The children both enjoy playing letter and maths games on the iPad. “It helps keep them learning in a fun way when they’re off school. My daughter will be practising her maths and letters, and my son’s reading and typing has come on hugely because of using the PC,” says Madeline.
Technology also allows the children to keep in touch with relatives who live overseas, via Skype calls. “There are so many benefits to technology, like Skype,” says Madeline. “But it also gives my children some downtime, some moments of calm among the busy-ness of Christmas.”
That said there are times when Madeline says the family will be strictly tech-free. “There will definitely be no technology when we’re opening presents or eating Christmas dinner!”
If you’d like to learn more about how you can help your children stay safe online, here are some great resources: