As decades evolve and generations change so does the way we behave in society. We can agree that electronics in many forms have changed how we live and maybe how we parent. New devices of technology continue to come out and challenge me all the time. But for my children who are ages 7 and 10 years old, they seem to be able to adapt well and operate them the best.
We have a love-hate relationship with electronics in my home. My kids get glued to their devices and sometimes I have to pry them away. But my husband and I both agree that at times the “electronic device” does keep them quiet and entertained.
The love part. Our family will take lengthy car rides from time to time and instead of hearing 20 times, “When will we be there?” it is often a bit quieter in the backseat with my girls listening and watching a movie. It keeps them entertained and allows us to focus on the drive.
The hate part or disadvantage portion of electronic use is too much “screen time.” I also like my children to engage in other activities and interact with friends and family. There is value to being in person and face to face with others. When my kids are on their electronics too much they will get cranky from it, in addition to not keeping up with their home responsibilities.
This is a personal choice on what works for your household and family. It can be about finding the right balance and what is appropriate time limits in your home.
As a parent we know there is no “rule book” when it comes to raising kids. Often, we rely on how we were brought up as children to instill some of the traditions and ways we best know. My husband and I did not grow up with iPads, Kindles, and various other “screen devices.” But in keeping up with the changing times is is now a part of our children’s lives as we raise them.
The Cell Phone
This has been a hot topic in our household and perhaps yours too. The topic recently arose at my daughter’s fifth grade moving-up ceremony. As you may relate to a popular line, “Everyone has a cell phone. When can I get one too?”
We decided to get our preteen daughter one as she is entering middle school. The time seemed appropriate, and so far, it has been working out well. She is communicating with me more and checking in with me. The phone goes off and is in my possession at 9 p.m. each evening. It will stay important that I manage and monitor the time my child has her phone along with electronic devices.
When my husband and I were kids, it was common to hear, “Go play outside and swing or find a board game and a deck of cards.” We all grew up differently, but for me, we stayed outside somewhere on our street until it was dark or time for dinner.
My husband and I have been better at improvising and finding other fun activities to get our children out of the house and not looking at the screens. We began taking advantage of the beach town we live in with more walks on the beach, even in cool temperatures. We look for unique shells and spend more time having play dates for our children.
There may be no right or wrong answer or timing for your child to get a cell phone or use electronic devices. It is more of a family decision and personal preference on what may work for you.