Is it weird I look back on my childhood and miss going out to play?
I would ride bikes, climb trees, play Kick-The- Can (does anyone remember what that is?) and do it all day everyday with the neighborhood kids until dinner time.
I had an amazing childhood and remember thinking, “I can’t wait to have kids and have them grow up the way I did”. Fast forward, twenty years later, and my ten year old has an iPod, iPad, laptop, Wii U, Playstation, and is begging for a cell phone.
Think he already has too much? He does. I agree! And while every one of those except the Wii U has been gifted to him, it doesn’t change the fact they’re all there, glowing their way into our lives.
Since when did technology rule all?
He comes home from school and after sports and/or homework, he immediately wants hop on his iPad and play clash of clans, minecraft or hop on youtube. We decided our son can use the electronics on the weekends. During the week, after school, he does his chores, homework and plays outside. But of course he still loves the digital games and electronics and so when the weekend comes, I worry that he’s not getting enough exercise with all the screen time. Sigh.
And then, there’s the phone. He’s one of the only ones in his class who doesn’t have a cell phone. I didn’t get a cell phone until I was 19. And it was for emergency only. My mom suggested I get him one, so he wouldn’t be left out. I have others telling me I shouldn’t get one because a ten year doesn’t need a cell phone. And in the meantime, I’m trying to figure out the right answer to a tech debate that isn’t stopping anytime soon. We can’t get away from electronics. It would be silly to think we could escape them, and the mom in me wants to make sure that once that tech version of Pandora’s Box is opened, that my son is prepared to navigate the cyber world. It’s a daunting task, and I’m often left with more questions than answers on which way to turn. I mean, my 1 and 2 year old even have baby iPad toys.
That being said, we decided to not get our son a phone as of right now. I’m sure we will at some point, but as of right now he doesn’t need a cell phone to make calls, even if more and more of his peers seem to be getting them. He has an iPad that has every app that an iPhone does. But the fact remains that I never would have imagined I’d even be discussing cell phones for a 10 year old. For now I’ll be focusing on Kick-The-Can lessons, but I know there’s no turning back. I’ll have to keep drawing lines around technology, and keep the conversation open as I raise my kids in this tech generation.
How do you feel about electronics? And have you decided at what age you’ll let your children have cell phones? It might be a talk you need to have sooner than you think.