- Family and Parenting»
- Advice & Tips for Parents of Teens
The Ultimate Parent Challenge
Ultimately, parents are considerably responsible for how their children turn out once they are older, and set loose into this world. Whether they are single parents with in and out relationships, or a married couple raising children, all are equally responsible for setting an example for their children. Make no mistake, it is a huge responsibility, and quite frankly; an obligation once one steps into parenthood. What one does, and says will lay the foundation on how the children react from early on, and into adulthood. Also, what a parent allows their children to do at young ages can significantly hinder several different factors in the child’s life as they grow older. For example; In this day and age, several parents all over the country let their children sit in front of a television or computer screen for hours on end, playing video games. This single allowance may be significantly imperative to several factors of the child’s life such as; health, motivation, respect, values, and opportunity. Children are obsessed with technology! Parents are even buying their young children smartphones, which allows for possibly explicit and dangerous contact and social media venues, and also allows them to download endless gaming applications, which they never want to pause or put down! Technology has now become a brainwashing, family destroyer, and parents are letting it happen! We need to get back to the way it use to be, to prevent the total human population from becoming solely dependant on technology, forgetting the beauty of the natural earth around us.
It seemed to have really all changed in the late 1990s. VHS turned to DVD, large brick-like cell phones turned into small convenient flip phones, desktops turned into take-everywhere laptops, and nintendo turned into playstations, xboxes, and gameboys. Everything literally has become digital in one way or another. Shopping went from in-store to online, creating a venue for individuals getting what they need, without going outside into public, and without the need to social with other humans face-to-face. All of this has taught children that it is normal to be inactive and unsocial. Then of course, as the 2000s hit, DVD turned to Blu Ray, flip phones turned into smartphones, gaming systems evolved more and more, and of course, social media blasted off into an oblivion of mayhem! Everything that has changed with technology has diversely changed how children are raised. Additionally, our economy has come to thrive and live off of all of technology and to survive, it depends on advancement and growth.
Kids used to squirm in their seats at school for that end of the day bell to ring and send them off to freedom of riding their bicycles, shooting hoops, climbing trees, and dreading the time that the street lights would come on, signalling them that it was time to go home. Now, they fall asleeps at their desks to pass the time, and as soon as they walk through the front door, the backpack gets flung to the middle of the floor, and the game console is reawaken, allowing the monitor to be intensely stared at for hours on end. Dinner time has gone from sitting around the table telling each other how their days went, to pausing the game, and returning to it as soon as their last bite was brought to their mouths. Additionally, the smartphone is easily within reach at the dinner table just in case a classmate or crush has had something new to tell them privately or the whole world on social media. Once the child has been allowed to develop these kinds of habits, eventually it turns into the only lifestyle they can relate to, which creates future problems. Some problems that result from inactivity, are health problems such as weight-gain, constant fatigue, and vision problems from staring at computer or televisions screens for hours on end. Additionally, those problems can add to other problems such as lack of job opportunity after high school, lack of respect for others and mother nature, and the lack of motivation to excel in life.
Here’s the problem, a vast number of parents, have allowed this! Furthermore, when parents are seemingly completely wrapped up in their jobs, and are constantly on their own smartphones, laptops or tablets, it visibly teaches the children that being dependant on electronic devices, is just the way life works. They don’t feel that it is necessary to get out and to be active, because that’s not what mom or dad does. However, there are some parents that know that their child or children have a problem with obsession and dependency of their electronic devices that they begged for and received for Christmas, and are either afraid to handle the situation to bring their child to understand that there is more to life than video games, smartphones and social media, or they have let it continue on for so long that this condition has become normal for their family. They are afraid that if such things were taken away from the children that they would become emotionally devastated and even more distant than they had already become. So how do we fix this?
Here’s the challenge; Do not be afraid of how the child will react, and be the parent you set out to be! Create and set boundaries, firmly! Install a mode of thinking that playing video games and having Facebook time, is a privilege earned, and is to be used certain times of the day, after homework, after outside playtime, after playing board games with the family, and certainly not during the hours of the night the children should responsibly be asleep prior to school days. Make going outside a priority. Buy them a bicycle for christmas instead of the next version of Xbox. Even if their friends have parents that allow them to have as many video games and consoles as they desire, do not cave in. Get them outside, build them a fort, or better yet, build it with them! Teach them to cook, and to be master grillers. Take them camping, fishing, or hunting. Get them outside. It’s possible, and can be done. It may be difficult, but it can be done, if you want the best opportunities and experiences in life for your children.
In conclusion, technology is indeed awesome, and in several different ways, some parts of it have become necessary in life, but things about how it is used as far as our children are concerned needs to be changed. Things need to be explained and introduced to them differently. Social media can be a fantastic and fun way to stay in touch with those far away relatives and friends. The internet provides several opportunities such as jobs for stay at home moms, and online college degrees that are sometimes more affordable than actually going to college physically and can allow individuals with busy life schedules with an opportunity for educational advancement. Smartphones allow us to have constant access for communication, allowing us to operate business mobily or keep us up to date on the latests trends and news stories, and weather. In a lot of ways, our technology is completely fantastic. Additionally, some video games can be seriously fun, rewarding, and sometimes educational. We need to break away from complete dependence on electronic devices, because that’s not how we started out. Even though that’s how children whom are born today start out, we have no business forgetting how it used to be. In some ways technological advancements are good, and in other ways they destroy families. It is all cool to have, but we need to modify how it is used and viewed, and we need to get the children back to playing outside!