Today kids all are about being entertained. They have iPods, iMacs, iPads, Dad’s iPhone, Mom’s iPhone leapsters, leap pads, playstation, X Box, Wii, etc…Too much Tech and not enough Play. We need to connect with our kids instead of letting them connect to other things!
What happens when you take your kids technology away from them? Have you ever noticed the way they get a “tech-a-tude” that erupts in your household? I am sure you know the one I am talking about…the Jekel and Hyde mood swing, the extremely whiny voice saying “I don’t want to”, all because you tell them to put away the electronics.
More often than I would like to admit, this happens in our home. So what do my wife and I do to correct the problem…we cut them off. We try to take them to a much simpler time, when no electronics existed. My wife and I will have a NO technology week. Thats right…no electronics at all… for an entire week, including TV.
At first this is extremely difficult for everyone to adapt to, including mom and dad. The easy thing would be to just give in, but don’t. It will seem as if the “End of Days” apocalypse has taken over. Your kids will just wander around not knowing what to do… like little zombies. But there is a simple solution to this, make them play.
Remember back in the day when you were a kid, what did you like to do. I don’t ever remember sitting inside wanting to just play video games, and that was the era I grew up in. I loved playing kickball, baseball, football, street hockey, riding bikes, and skating (yes skating, I am product of the 80’s). I would get in trouble for not coming in when the “street lights” came on, not for staying inside playing Nintendo.
These are things that we need to make sure our kids know how to do…how to just be a “kid.” After a day without electronics, our kids forget all about them. But take this time to also embrace the “little kid” side of you as a parent. Enjoy this time with them. Our youngest son, Ethan, loves to play monster. He loves when I make funny faces and yell in a funny “monster” voice while I chase him around the house.
I want to encourage you to try a “NO TECH” week and just play with your children and try to find a common interest. Go outside and throw a ball around with them or go to the park on a nature walk. Jump on their Rip Riders and have fun tearing it up in the driveway. Play an old school board game of Clue, Chutes and Ladders, Candy Land, or Life. Throw on some good tunes and use the power of music and have a dance party with you kids.
Try it today and I bet your kids will reclaim their childhood hood and yours.
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Shaina Braun says
I love this post about too much technology! When I was a kid, we played, and we had a blast! I work with children with behavioral difficulties as well as their families. I go to their homes and encourage them to just..PLAY! I assign homework to the parents to engage in play with them outside of therapy. When I discuss this with them, about 90% of them look at me and say “like what?” How has this generation of parents forgotten about rollerblading, riding bikes, building things, climbing trees, having races, kicking a soccer ball around, the list goes on! It breaks my heart but hopefully we can continue to get the word out and make a difference. I love your blog! Would love for you to check mine out as well as we have similar interests! http://parentinginmotion.com 🙂
Mickey Mansfield says
I totally agree. I would rather pick up a ball rather than a remote control. I guess it is our jobs as parents to bring that back!
Doing Good Together says
Thank you for this important post. We too agree, there needs to be more focus on play, exploration, and encouraging a sense of awe and wonder and a child’s natural sense of curiosity.
As noted in a recent newsletter of ours, play can help cultivate empathy and teach lifelong relationship skills. And though tech devices and “Screen time” is here to stay, we can take steps to monitor and encourage healthy use of these ever-changing tools.
Victor Charles says
I have been guilty of allowing my kids to sit in front of the TV for to long rather than go outside and play. This article was a nice reminder that I need be more proactive about getting them to play sport outside rather than on a video game. Thank you!
Mickey Mansfield says