Parenting and Electronic Devices

6 Feb

It’s probably harder to parent your children than it was for your parents or your grandparents to parent their young children! I’ll tell you why I think so: There are so many more choices and a much higher probability that they (or you!) will get hooked on some of the choices made.
Let’s assume you want to provide well for your children. (Most parents do, even going back to the Bible when Jesus was reported to have asked “Who among you would give your child a stone to eat rather than a piece of bread” (paraphrased by Jean Eva).
However, some of this “giving” may have ulterior motives, such as the TV babysitter in the old days and now the IPad babysitter. Like almost everything, electronic devices can be used or misused. When anyone spends enormous amounts of time interacting with a game on an electronic device, that person is missing out on other dimensions in life. Some of those dimensions might be

talking and listening to others
enjoying the natural world
enjoying sports and physical activity
enjoying cultural venues such as museums
playing a musical instrument or engaging in a hobby

It is sad when we enter a restaurant, a place where presumably one can enjoy good food and good company, and we see each member of the family on an electronic device hidden away in their own little world.

If you are just about to buy your child an IPhone or an IPad, think about how you will set the guidelines for its use. Think also about your own practice of gaming on your device. Have that family meeting and plan the agenda. Don’t forget to ask for input from the kids also. Hopefully some fun topics will come up — like the next vacation in the out of doors!

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