“Look at pictures.”
“Read a book.”
“Pirates and Ghosts” (a favorite song)
The list of opportunities on one little iPhone, iPad or Kindle can go on and on. These just happen to be pleas that come from our 2 year olds. Wow. W-O-W. The diversity of requests that can be granted through one rectangular item is intoxicating. And that is just from their young, but observant perspective.
Think about the many powerful things that we use our own hand held devices for. Actually, many being the very same things:
And when you really break it down, that formidable device is at our fingertips much more than we likely realize (or want to acknowledge) throughout each and every day. We are taking pictures of the kids doing something that's just too cute. Nana calls to talk or Papa calls to Facetime with the grandbabies. Then Daddy sends a text message to check in, followed by the “Breaking News” notification that pops up. Oh and while the phone is “open,” we should really send that email for work. Or maybe it’s just that mommy takes a little breather and dabbles on social media for a few minutes. Our children see this. And the fact that we are their role models, their everything, how in the world could we expect them to NOT take interest in what we do. It is the way of our world, right? Well, at least a piece of the world…;-)
As I quietly snuggled in silence with Twin A last night, I reflected on the answers to the question I posed to my network yesterday: As parents of young children, how do you handle technology with your own children? The answers were widespread, as anticipated. From very few limitations, to children who have yet to put their hands on technology there was a plan to fit each individual family. In my opinion, each one made sense.
That was when it all clicked. I saw myself through the eyes of my minis and our family dynamics. They see that I clearly love technology-always have and always will. Most of my work connects to technology. But I can also become overwhelmed and all encompassed by it. This is what I can see starting in them, even if they are using their Kindles a collective 60 minutes per week. That’s not much in the grand scheme of life but it’s enough to make them want more. And I get it. The struggles that I have with them wanting and desiring such “limitless boundaries” through the avenues of technology, is actually a reflection of the struggles that I have within myself in this highly connected world. The difference being that I have the intellectual wherewithal to set my own boundaries, which includes being a role model for when (and how) we can collectively (and effectively) deploy the power of personal technology.
As Spider-Man's Uncle Ben teaches, “with great power comes great responsibility” and who says that 2 year olds can’t learn the power of being more technologically responsible. Or 38 year olds. Bring it on.
the blog space
~Derek, Father of 2 and Elementary School Principal
Just a girl with a dream to collectively build a healthy mind space for children, while creating a healthier mind space for ourselves.
Copyright Healthy Mind Space 2019