Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Children, Parents, Technology...Oh MY!

If you are a parent, raising children in today's age of technology it can be more than frustrating!

So many things to be aware of and to give direction over.  And most of us are completely unaware of how to use the very technology we seem to let our children roam free on.  We wouldn't let them roam the busy streets in our neighborhoods but we give no thought to them roaming the world through the internet.

It used to be: 
  • Friends came over and you saw them face to face.  You could send them home and give your child the alone time they needed. 
  • Phones had to be shared as there was only 1 line in the house.  Now we have 6 separate phones that are no longer tied to the wall and that can be used at all hours of the day for each and every one of us.
  • T.V. or a radio was your only tech entertainment to control.  Again you had to share because we didn't have earphones for private viewing!  Now we have mp3 players, ipods, laptops, iphones, tablets, computers, etc.  all can be viewed with nobody else aware what you are watching or listening too.
  • Events or sports were scheduled and maybe 2-3 times a week.  Now it seems there are 2-3 events everyday all week long competing for our children's time and taking more and more time away from family.
So what are we to do as a parent?
We gotta fight for our families! 
We must educate ourselves on the technology our children are using.
We must be the parent and set guidelines for when, how, and where they can use technology.
We seem to have let technology and society dictate when our children get these things.
We let our children teach us how to use the technology instead of us teaching them or at least us sitting with them and giving them guidance as they learn.  Believe me I know all too well they have a distinct advantage of learning technology.  (We had a parent control on our netflix and everyone knew how to log in but MOM! We weren't keeping them out it was keeping me out!  LOL) 

We have 5 kids with cell phones and believe me it is NO easy task keeping up with these things.  We are still learning what rules to apply and then how to enforce them.  You get one trained and then you realize three others snuck by.  To which then they ALL feel the rules have changed and they can do as they please.  We are in an age when mom and dad are seriously out numbered.  But that doesn't mean we give up and let what happens happen.   

Even if they are the ones teaching us the technology we can be still be involved parents!  I may not understand it all but I can still  give them wisdom...I CAN and MUST still set the ground rules!  I don't have to be the tech expert but I do need to be tech aware!

WE are still finding our balance in our home!  It isn't easy staying up with something that fits in their pocket and is out of sight, out of mind for a busy mom and dad.  Just what our children love!  This is where we have to be parents that are AWARE...we need to make it a priority to control the things that control our children.
  • Have we set phone limits?
  • Have we set guidelines for how, when, who, and where you use technology?
  • Have we taught them what to post and what not to post?
  • Do we know how to post?  (although if you are reading a blog YOU probably do...LOL)
  • What are the rules for how much they text?  (Our kids who first get a phone TRIPLE everyone elses text messaging!  After about 2 months we get that under control!  It takes takes takes mom and dad being aware!)
  • Do we know what is on their ipods?
  • Do we know the shows they are watching?
  • Do we see the pictures they are posting?
  • Do we have access to the conversations they are having?
What are some ways you have learned to bring order to tech use in your home?

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