Technology: How to Teach Kids Moderation
This weekend my desktop stopped working. It just will not turn on, my husband messed around with it some but to no avail. We believe computers should not be hidden they should be located in the open where any passerby can see what you are up to. My desktop is conveniently located in dead space between the kitchen and the breakfast (ok every meal) table. For quite a while I would just sit down at the desk and move the mouse to check “something” on the computer. It isn’t on, doesn’t work, dead as a door nail yet I would repeat this behavior throughout the first day. Good grief am I that dependent on technology that I can’t even remember that it is broken. That got me to thinking how much time am I spending on this blasted thing? Too much I fear! Time away from my household duties and family all in the name of “let me just check something.” It will only take a minute – an hour later – where has the time flown?
There was an excellent article in Parade Magazine this past Sunday entitled “Born to be Wired”. All about how our children and youth spend so much time on video games, Facebook, and texting and how that affects their attention span. This just doesn’t pertain to our kids – I think my ability to focus has been compromised. At least I’ve stopped trying to get on the desktop – I relocated the laptop to sit right in front. I’ll be all set if I can stop using the desktop keyboard and mouse.
Seriously as parents we need to get our children better prepared to handle the effects technology can have on them. The first thing to do is recognize that it affects us too and we must teach by example. So here are some moderation ideas:
·No computer for mom & dad (unless helping a child) from the time the kids get home till they go to bed.
·No laptop use in front of the TV
·Set aside family time – board games, movies, watch a TV show together, video games, etc.
·Family dinners at the table no electronics on
·No hidden computer screens
·Get outside with your family if at all possible – ride bikes, go for walks, shoot basketball, start collected something, etc.
·Set up no text zones – car, family time, dinner, etc.
·Make time to get on the internet together – there are so many hilarious videos out there that you can share together – and I promise if your kids are in middle or high school they are talking about them & watching them with their friends. Check out sporting events and scores together. Maybe it will be looking at colleges and finding scholarships together.
My husband and I are trying these things – we even got rid of our cable – if we can make through football season we can make it through anything. Yesterday was Columbus Day - the last day of fall break for the kids and hubby was off work so we all stayed home together and stayed off electronics for most of the day. We had a blast – the kids rode bikes, baked cookies, washed cars, we played skip Bo and even watched Dancing with the Stars together – BEST DAY!!