By Elizabeth Phillips
The Internet can be a scary place for parents and teachers. As a working mom of three daughters, I want to keep my girls’ eyes away from any inappropriate online content. As a teacher, I want my students to focus more on my lesson than what their friends post on Facebook.
Despite these things, I recently noticed that the Internet has made me a better mom and teacher. Some people view the Internet as a waste of time, but if it’s used right, it’s a productive tool that can shape the minds of the younger generation and discover advice for parenting online.
See how the Internet has impacted my role as a mother and a teacher, and consider how you could use the web to improve your own life.
1. I can interact better with my children and students
My mom used to take me and my siblings to the library every Friday after school. She would sort through an almost infinite amount of books to find something for us to do together on the weekends. Sometimes, she would spend $20+ gathering craft supplies, just to find out the activity was too complicated or simply not fun for us kids.
With the Internet, I am continuously finding activities, crafts and recipes that my children and students can enjoy. Best of all – there are reviews of nearly everything! By scrolling through Pinterest, mommy and teacher blogs and online magazine articles, I can find the perfect at-home or in-the-classroom activity.
2. My children spend their free time learning
I spent most my days playing tag, drawing with chalk and swinging on the playset when I was a kid. So, I am a strict parent when it comes to TV and Internet. My youngest daughter says, when she becomes president, she’ll allow every kid to watch TV from the time they get home from school until they go to bed (oh, and there would be no bedtime either).
I want my kids to enjoy the Internet and TV – but I don’t want it to be their entire lives. I allow my children to be online for 30 minutes each weekday and for an hour on Saturdays and Sundays. Nine times out of 10, they choose to log online – they can’t get enough of the educational games! Thanks to the Internet, my preschooler knows numbers one through ten in Spanish and my 8-year-old girl is learning multiplication.
3. All my questions can be answered
Yahoo! Answers might lead to some strange and unhelpful answers to my questions. But there are plenty of reliable websites that can answer almost any parenting or teacher questions I have. I’ve Googled and discovered solutions to the most serious and most ridiculous parenting questions – At what age should my baby start walking? How can I keep from crying on my child’s first day of kindergarten?
Believe it or not, I’ve found answers for these questions from trustworthy websites. No matter what situation you’re in, someone else online has been through it and can give you expert advice on the Web.
4. The Internet gives me “me” time
Being a supermom who works fulltime doesn’t mean you always have to be on the go – in fact, some rest and relaxation is a necessity. Realize that some “you” time isn’t laziness; it’s what you need to be there for your children and productive and lively at work.
Everyone has their own method of relaxation – go for a walk, read a book, take a nap, watch TV, or – like me – get online. After the kids are in bed and I’m winding down for bed myself, I like to catch up on the mommy blogs I subscribe to, see what my friends are up to on Facebook and drool at dessert recipes on Pinterest.
Whether it’s five minutes to myself or a (once in a blue moon) hour, the Internet is a great way for me to relax my mind and be ready to tackle another day on the job (or jobs) – as both a teacher and a mom.
Elizabeth Phillips is a teacher and freelance writer. She enjoys writing articles related to parenting and education. Elizabeth lives in Philadelphia with her husband and three daughters. She welcomes your feedback at elizabethphillipswrites@gmail.