Growing up, I was around technology. Internet, cable TV and of course, phones. It was my love for technology that drove me towards doing Computer Science as my major. But, I’m not here to talk about me nor my passions.
When I was a lot younger, I used to go outside and play with my dad and my friends. You know, playing hopscotch, double dutch and all those other fun things. Nowadays, these kids don’t really go outdoors and have fun with their parents much. And sure, when they go to school they get the chance to play. But what about that down time with their parents.
Cultures are different. What’s done in the US, UK or wherever else isn’t necessarily done in Jamaica. Well for the most part at least. I have a niece who is so glued to the TV that she knows when her favourite cartoon episode has been repeated. When she was staying with my parents, that’s all she ever did, watch TV.
Her parents are so busy during the day that they don’t really have time to take her outside to play. So she’s mainly inside, watching the kid version of Disney every day. Of course she goes to school and has made friends. But like I said before, what happens to the downtime with her parents.
My point is, nowadays kids are growing up into this highly technological world. And while there are still stay at home parents, some of these parents are too busy running errands or working from home. I’m sure a lot of parents want their “me time” especially after a long day and a long week.
These kids are relying on technology (like their tablets, the TV, etc.) too much and don’t know how to have real fun. They’re taking their phones to the bathroom, to the dinner table, to bed and the list goes on. So what can we do about it? Do kids know how to be kids?
Now, don’t get me wrong. Kids having their tablets and such is a great way to keep them preoccupied especially when you’re travelling. But let’s be real here; they need a break from it every once in a while.
One thing my sister does is that set her TV to a time for it to shut off. This means, no more TV until the next day and no TV at dinner either. This is a really good practice because it helps to bring them back to reality and be more involved with their family.
For parents, try to incorporate some family time into your me time. Take your kids to the beach, an amusement park, somewhere fun. So while they’re having fun, you’re having fun and relaxing too. I’m sure a lot of parents do it but it doesn’t hurt to say it so that busy parents can try it.
I’m no parent but when I do become one (if I become one), I’m going to try to take my own advice. I don’t want my kids to be glued technology for all their childhood. Childhoods are about creating fun memories that they won’t forget. Memories that they can share with their kids.
What do you think about kids and technology these days?
Are you a parent? What have you done to ensure that your kids aren’t always stuck to technology? Sound off below.