Monday, August 29, 2011

Technology (and lack thereof)

Last week we went to the library. My intention was to spend the morning looking at and reading books. My kids love to sit and listen to stories for hours, so I thought they're head straight for the shelves when we walked in. Instead, they walked in and began doing this ...

I begged, I pleaded, but all they wanted to do was sit at the computers. Now, I should say that we try to restrict technology with our kids. They have rarely, if ever, been on our computer at home (besides sitting with me while I type an email or something) and they don't play any video games ... yet. Our reasoning is that they will have plenty of time to do these things as they get older and I don't want to see them sitting in front of a screen when they could be playing outside or with their siblings. Their imaginations are through the roof lately and although I know there are lots of educational uses for technology, I don't think it's the most important use of their time right now as preschoolers.

So I guess withholding the computer caused them to go bonkers when I actually let them sit at the ones in the library for a half hour. I had to pry them away and force them towards the books, something I've never had to do. I know they're not going to be technology-free forever, but can't we at least wait until kindergarten before they learn to type? Maybe I'm old fashioned, but that's the way I feel. It's difficult because both Matt and I have smart phones and computers, so they see us using technology on a daily basis. But just because we get to use something doesn't automatically mean it's just as appropriate for a child, right? Kind of like alcohol. You don't get some just because Mommy does. My goal is to teach them that technology is great ... in moderation. So that means I have to watch myself just as much as I watch them to make sure I'm not abusing my technology privileges. I NEVER want my kids to think an email or a text is more important than they are. I have to make sure that even though it's so easy to text a friend or shoot off an email while playing with my kids, I need to refrain. The only way I can teach them the importance and significance of relationships and self-discovery is to put down the phone (or iPad, or laptop) and show them how to do it myself.

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