Technology is a wonderful thing. The world of online gaming, handheld devices and the world-wide web can provide seemingly endless amusement for our kids (and ourselves!). The challenge presents when this is the norm and us mums and dads become what I term “event-based parents”. This is where we abdicate our regular parental responsibilities thinking that our kids are being suitably amused and entertained, and we conveniently pick up our parental function when we specifically plan an event.
It’s an easy trap to fall into. Our kids confess their happiness as they while away the hours on their devices so there is little overt pressure to change this. We then focus our involvement on a day trip to the beach, an afternoon on the skate ramp, or a trip to the museum. Stepping back from this picture, we can see we have possibly become an event-based parent.
I do not believe the answer lies in removing the technology, but rather changing our focus. My wife is an amazing example of this, actively engaging our eldest son as he enhances his online gaming profile. Rather than either ignoring his activity or prohibiting it altogether, the approach of sharing the experience appears to be the most valuable.
I can obviously only speak from my own experiences. I know the enthusiasm with which I am greeted by my boys when I sit down and watch a favourite TV program or join in a Lego building activity or bounce on the trampoline with them, in addition to sharing a family event. The boys like the big things we do together but they love the little things I do with each them individually.
LET HOPE RISE
Image credit: file404 / 123RF Stock Photo