Saturday, May 30, 2009

The Compromise



I read an article in last Sunday's paper that I held onto as the perfect blog commentary. I stewed on it all week. The article was from the AP called "Plugged in ....and impatient." It discusses how kids today have immediate gratification so engrained by technology that we're raising a generation of impatient people. Examples being given range from DVR's and the ability to fast forward through commercials to exposure to the commercials themselves. It's all true. 

I remember a humorous incident when Sid was 5 and she came running into the kitchen saying: " you've got to dial 888-555-1234 within the next five minutes to get this toy on sale, you need to be 18 to call."  Brian said "are you 18?"  she shook her head, "I'm not 18 either I guess we can't call from our family."  She bought this and did for quite some time. On the heels of that both kids learned that with commercials you don't always get what they say you do.  The commercials sometimes make things look a lot better than what they are.  Best example Floam. What a wholehearted disappointment for all!  When Charlie was 4 he figured out how to fast forward the DVR to get past commercials in his favorite Discovery Kids show (keeping in mind the DVR didn't exist when Sid was 4, see how quickly technology changes)?   As parents, we're not much better, as we quite enjoy the DVR ourselves!

This all being said I come back to what seems to be a focal point for me recently. Balance. One of the big reasons we moved to the farm was so the kids could roam free, explore, have unstructured, innovative playtime and not rely on the TV or Computer for entertainment.  I suppose this is partially selfish.  Brian and I love to watch them play and make up games.  The kids love to play spy and we love to "catch them" spying.  We also wanted to give our kids time to develop and explore without feeling like they had to be involved in 10 different activities.  That's not to say they're not involved.  Sid does Tae Kwon Do, Violin & Girl Scouts and Charlie does Tae Kwon Do & Soccer.  We just limit what they can be involved with for both of us (parents and kids) so they have time to explore and be creative, and we can have more quality, not running from activity to activity, family time.

It's all a compromise.  Technology is phenomenal and we all love it.  It's a tool, we utilize it as a family, and then also update lessons we learned from our parents, so the kids can make good decisions about how to use it and when to stop.  For example, "are you getting a squishy head" (too much TV/Computer)?  Amazingly the kids almost always know the answer to this themselves!  Sidney has become a huge fan of Google.  She researches topics of interest and then teaches us about them or formulates a paragraph to turn in at school about it.  So overall, finding a balance with the plugged in society and the simpler things in life is the key.  If my kids can have the best of both worlds and become good decision makers, I've done my job.

2 comments:

  1. Hi Amy. Great time last night. As promised, I'm trying to post a comment. TESTING!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks Daniella! We had a great time too :)

    ReplyDelete

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