Sounds extreme to say your child is being raised by robots but when you think about how many electronic gadgets your child has and how much time they spend using them how much time do we really spend WITH our children? Even before I ever started writing for tech blogs I changed phones every couple of weeks, carried my PSP like it was a life support machine and when I was home I gamed all night long. Needless to say I see a lot of the same behavior in my 13-year-old and as hip and cool of a mom as I’d like to say I am he’s being raised by robots.
It seems cool to write tech reviews, get the latest gadgets daily to either keep or “borrow” and be able to let your family test drive some items for varying opinions or simply because you’re generous. I can easily say that I HAVE to constantly be attached to a device because I have to use it but I’m too honest a person to say that’s acceptable at all. If you’ve learned anything about me the last couple weeks you’ve learned I’m a stay at home mom that spends most of her days in bed, at a Dr’s office or on a plane. Embarking on this journey has enlightened me and helped me see the errors of my ways.
I cuss like a sailor in real life, on twitter any and everywhere but not around my son. I made a point to refrain from cussing in his presence since I found out I was pregnant. I’d be lying if I said now that he’s 13 a few F bombs haven’t flied here and there but what was the purpose in preserving his mind from that language only to let him be submersed in it online? I’ll get into social media and children in another post but my point is we often sit around and watch parents with badly behaved children and turn our nose up. We mentally write them off as destined to serve a life sentence in prison because they obviously have no training. What future will my tech obsessed although very well-mannered child have with no human connection? He’s an only child and like everyone else in my house even in his sleep there is a gadget in each hand.
I don’t have any cool tips on how to break this cycle but I have a few first steps that I intend to blend into my home:
- Walks – in the evening when his homework is complete and dinner is done we will walk around our complex. No phones just talk. Not only are we getting in some exercise but he will have my undivided attention.
- Family Day- Assign a random day a week or bi weekly and as a family have dinner and a movie. The dinner allows for family communication outside of the home and away from all the laptops. Once dinner arrives and we eat no phone use is allowed until we are all done and en route to the movies once we arrive at the theatre all devices will be on silent. It allows us to all be “present” and enjoy the entire experience.
- Turn Down Time- Everyone is chanting Turn Up!! and I think that is part of the problem we need some turn down time. So I will be placing a bin in the dining room and on the table when he comes home from school his phone goes into the bin until his homework is complete. My personal phones will also be placed in these bins while I am blogging so I can focus on what I am doing and not be distracted by my zillion social media accounts.
I’m sure I can think up some more but let’s not get ahead of ourselves and be unrealistic. When you think about how many adults we’ve come across and wondered if they were raised by animals how awful do you think your child will grow up to be if they’re being raised by robots?
Just a thought… to be continued
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