21st century mum

A few months ago I managed to put my son's iPod on a hot wash, and only discovered my mistake when I heard it rattling around in the tumble dryer. All his carefully selected tunes had been wiped clean, and there was no shuffling to be had. (This was apparently 'my' fault for not checking the pockets of his jeans before I put them in the machine. He empties them himself now, but I can't recommend accidental damage insurance enough).

I dread to think what would happen if the X-box suddenly exploded and his father brought the ancient 'TV Game' down from the loft. But recently BBC website The Magazine challenged a 13-year-old to swap his iPod for a Walkman for a week, with fascinating results.

Of course, it's not just kids who love their gadgets. When I was at school video recorders were the size of a garden shed and my first mobile rarely had any reception. Now I have a phone so small I can't find it half the time, and our Sky+ is part of the family. My friend Vicki works out regularly with the help of her Wii, my sister is addicted to The Sims and nearly all my mum friends are on facebook.

There's no doubt that when you're a mum technology can make your life easier… that is, until it breaks down. I've lost count of the hours I've spent on the 'phone to my internet service provider, fighting back angry tears because I've lost connection. (Although unplugging and then replugging every socket in the house does usually help).

What about you? Are you a technophobe, or a gadget queen? Join KidStart (or login) to take part in this week's LivingwithKids/KidStart poll – or post your comments below.

written by Liz Jarvis