The Technology Trap

It’s strange now to think back when my eldest was born and I was worried about TV and making sure I monitored how much time he had.

Now with all the technology and devices there is a completely new worry and I now hear myself saying “I’d rather you watch some TV”

We all know as parents that too much time on technology can’t be good for our children.  I’m sure I’m not the only parent that has seen the instant personality change after having “tech time” (as we call it in our household).  I find our boys can be quite aggressive and lack in empathy.

Now with all the technology and devices there is a completely new worry and I now hear myself saying “I’d rather you watch some TV”

I try hard not to give in to their pleas of boredom when they are asking for extra time (I mean we live on 5 acres, there is plenty to do!)

Our guidelines are no tech during the school week.  We also used to have no television during the week (which I would like to go back to).  It is amazing the difference in just one week of no technology.  I’m not saying it is an easy week, it is a similar process to any addiction, they go through withdrawals and at times it can get quite ugly.  Rest assured however, it is worth it in the long run.  Clawing back those boundaries.

On the weekends they are allowed their devices for an hour each day (possibly more depending on behaviour).  This is only allowed after their daily chores have been completed.  This too was hard to implement.

The Technology Trap is not just about the children, but the parents also.  It is so easy to give in, allowing them to have it first thing on a Sunday morning, so that you can enjoy your morning coffee or sleep in in peace.  You just say yes and there is no whinging, whining or fighting they are being blissfully babysat by technology.  I have fallen into this trap numerous times and always it back fires, after their allowed time they then begrudge all chores and the motivation to do them has gone. (as I write this I have #1 child begging for tech J)

The Technology Trap is not just about the children, but the parents also.  It is so easy to give in, allowing them to have it first thing on a Sunday morning, so that you can enjoy your morning coffee or sleep in in peace.  You just say yes and there is no whinging, whining or fighting they are being blissfully babysat by technology.

It is so easy to just give in and allow them (when all you want is peace).  But this is not the answer it is a trap!!  I didn’t have to look too far to find research regarding technology and expert opinions on what it is doing to our children.

Side effects:

  • Personality changes
  • Can’t deal with boredom
  • Poor posture
  • Communication skills suffer
  • De-sensitising
  • Babysitter
  • Dinners out
  • Hand Writing
  • Obesity
  • Social Behaviour

As parents, we also need to be mindful of our time on technology and when it is appropriate to be on our phones.  If we are on them constantly in front of our children we are not setting the right example.  I too am guilty of this.  I am definitely a work in progress and need to set certain times for working with technology, so that it is not always in the presence of my boys.

However, it is not all doom and gloom as technology certainly has a place.  Our world is changing faster than ever before.  Our generation of children need to know how to keep up with the changes in technology.  Our schools use it in their day to day learning and education.  It also helps them socially, ironic I know.  When we were young we would discuss certain characters in a television show or that we have watched the latest movie.  Today it is all about the latest game, clan or world.  They also need to have an idea so that they can participate in certain conversations with their peers at school.

How to have balance:

  • Set time limits
  • Monitor what they are viewing
  • Ensure outdoor activities
  • Encourage social activities with their peers
  • Set an example

The most important lesson we can learn as parents is to remind ourselves that it is about balance and to monitor their time with technology and be aware of what they are watching.

We need to remember that we are in control and not to fall victim to the Technology Trap.  I too will be working on this and will keep you updated with my progress.

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