How Much Is Too Much?
Technology is a big part of our kids world, it’s everywhere and unavoidable. Kids depend on it for their education, social interactions, and entertainment but the growing concern on the usage are alarming and forces parents to limit and making sure they’re not overusing it or engaging in risky behavior. Average teens are spending about seven hours in front of screens chatting with friends, video gaming, listening to music and active in social media. The growth usage of technology has advanced so far that families have scarcely noticed the significant impact and changes to their family structure and lifestyles. Family time used to be spent doing chores, and children had expectations to meet on a daily basis. The dining room table was a central place where families came together to eat and talk about their day, and after dinner became the center for baking, crafts and homework. The devastating effects that technology is having on our children can’t be ignored and action taken toward balancing the use is very critical and should be enforced.
Technology is here to stay; no one can argue the benefits of advanced technology and its usage. Our connection to these devices may have resulted in a disconnection from what we value the most, quality time with family and a common conversation between parents and their kids. It seems as though parents are increasingly resorting to providing their children with more TV, video games, and the latest iPads and cell phone devices, creating a deep and irreversible void between parent and child. The documentary “Web Junkie” featured on PBS that shows the tragic effects on teenagers who became hooked on video games, playing for dozens of hours at a time often without breaks to eat, sleep or even use the bathroom should alarm parents all over the seriousness of this matter. This is a gradual behavior that starts as early in toddler, when parents freely handed their cell phones and tablets to entertain themselves instead of interacting with them.
This is a problem only a parent can fix, parents are responsible for limiting exposure to anything that is done in excess. Parents should set boundaries and rules and follow through with consequences for choosing to break the limit. We are connected to technology, but in some ways further apart than ever before, educating our kids about technology and limiting its usage should work for you and within your family values and parenting style. Technology can be an effective vehicle for child creativity, but too much of it can ultimately be problematic and detrimental. Finding a balance and investing in the relationship with our kids; incorporating technology to invest in their interests while still monitoring and limited amounts will keep us connected with our kids and disconnected to their devices.