Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Techno Addicts

We're in Kansas for Christmas, at my in-laws.  With hubby's parents, two sisters, one brother-in-law, and two nieces.  As the Blessed Day wound down, my sister-in-law remarked on how the cousins' faces were all aglow:  they were lit up by the laptops and iPads sitting in their laps.

Sigh.  Can you relate?

This same sister-in-law told us how some friends of hers have dealt with their kids' uber-connectedness.  At nine o'clock, everyone in the house turns off their phones and puts them on a shelf.  No texting or phone calls until morning.  In our house, we'd have to put the iPods and laptops away, too, to prevent instant messaging or Facebooking.  I love that idea.  I'm trying to decide if it's worth the battle to try to implement it.

I've been troubled for a long time at my daughters' attachment to technology.  Not that TV, computers, and cell phones are bad things in and of themselves.  But they are too attached.  This is not healthy.

I've realized, however, that I can't simply forbid one thing without helping them figure out what to fill that hole with.  What else can they do with themselves?  It really should be a much easier question to answer than it is.

How about you read a book instead of watching a TV show?

How about having your friends over face-to-face instead of skypeing?

How about playing basketball outside instead of playing sports on the Wii?

How about making dinner, cleaning your room, doing a craft, writing a story . . .

It's not that they don't like any of those activities -- we just allowed them to develop a taste for the lesser things.  Like preferring a Big Mac to filet mignon.  Shame on us.  One of the primary things I would change if I could raise my children again.

So, again, I have to decide how much I'm going to fight this addiction now.  It would be a lot easier if they came to the conclusion that this was unhealthy for them and wanted to change their ways themselves.  Then I'm in the role of Helper rather than Controller.  They're quickly getting too old to be effectively controlled.

The challenges of parenting teenagers.  It's harder to shepherd their hearts than to control their behavior.

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