Technology and kids: tool vs. crutch?

I love Christmas.  I do, but not for the reasons you may think.  The time between black Friday and Christmas morning is my most favorite time of year.  The presents thing really bothers me (not that I’m against them, mind you, because I’m not), because once the presents are torn open its over.  Everyone is in recovery mode and needs a week to rest from the holidays.  

So when I saw Apple’s new iPhone ad posted to my Facebook thread from a high school alumni, it got me thinking about excess.  My response to the friend’s question, “What do you think?” in response to Apple’s ad is that its about parenting.  My response to the friend is below:

 — Apple has always been very good at thoughtful ad campaigns and this is no exception. Parenting, however, is up to parents. Technology is part of the fabric of our kids’ lives. Its up to parents to decide when devices have to go away and when they can be used creatively or otherwise. However parents find that balance for growing healthy, well-adjusted individuals amidst our technology world will vary from family to family (special needs and otherwise), but parents are ultimately responsible for teaching their kids to navigate the world successfully. Technology is just one, albeit pervasive, facet of that world.”

For those parents who would demonize technology (I’ve been there so I see how easy that can be), consider how active you are in managing your kids time and activities on iPads, iPhones, Droids, laptops, etc. and how happy you are with their behavior.  If they are responsible individuals, you’re probably hitting a good balance.  If those kids are horribly behaved, perhaps its worth a look to either limit their time with technology or remove some items all together.

I know, its not convenient and its more work to engage with your kids.  But, hey, you’ve got one shot at this raising your kids thing.  We all have times when we NEED the tablets and iPads and iPhones (my husband and I were just talking about those things for our first car trip to Florida this spring — yikes!).  

Try to be aware of when and how technology is being used so it is a tool and not a crutch for parenting your kids.  Just do your best.




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