It’s so much easier to say yes to technology, so much more convenient – after all its purpose is to simply our lives, right? As convenient as it may be, when it comes to our children…
I’ll use my own life experience as an example here. This is a bit personal and hopefully exposing myself like this will bring more good than harm.
I grew up under very underprivileged circumstances, but my parents were determined that they would provide for us better than their parents were ever able to provide for them. As parents, I think we all strive to do the same. In my parents’ pursuit of providing for us they sacrificed a lot of their time to work and it simply became a vicious cycle. In an angry outburst as an adolescent I turned to my father one day and confronted him that I never needed all the “things” and “stuff”… I needed a father and I just wanted his love.
Clearly we had different love languages. If you haven’t had the opportunity of reading The 5 Love Languages by Dr. Gary Chapman, I highly recommend that you do because it’s a great book that helps you identify the love languages of your spouse, children and loved ones. A lot of times we throw money at our problems thinking it will somehow solve our problems. We purchase “things” and try to find quick and convenient solutions… but like with anything else, nothing worth having comes easy… it takes time and effort.
So I’m not trying to preach that money or technology is the root of all evil and that parents who buy their kids things or allow their kids to use technology are bad parents – no way! I’m simply saying that it shouldn’t be your end-all. Being good parents isn’t about convenience, it isn’t about ourselves… it’s about them. There are some times that we just need to say NO to technology or “things” altogether.
We need to teach our children how to climb trees, get back up after scraping their knees, ride their bikes without training wheels, play pretend, capture the flag, make a proper fort, get muddy, swim, and run in the rain. After all the best things in life truly are still free.