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Parenting in the digital age

Parenting in the digital age isn’t easy…

We are all trying to compete with the Jones’s, trying to look richer, trying to look more interesting and to look like we are having so much more fun that anyone else. The real truth is that many of us are miserable, we are down right depressed because we are spending all our time checking Facebook or Snapchat or Twitter and whatever other social media platforms we are on to engage with people that we hardly even know in many cases.

If we actually stepped back from the smartphone or tablet we are pretending to be doing something meaningful with, we would feel empty inside; many people just sit there as they think they have nothing better to do with their time, they think that whatever is outside going on in the world is more important to them that what is going on in their lives.

So I appreciate for many people reading this is a reality check, some people who are connected to their phones and know no different way to live will be thinking what is this all about…

Let me explain, when I grew up we played outside in the woods, we made mud pies, we watched the birds playing outside, we made camps in the woods and enjoyed playing hide and seek with our friends, we played pool and drunk cider in the woods being careful that our parents didn’t find the bottles, we lit fires and burned stuff, we shot things and were emersed in the fresh air, the healthy things in life, the natural things in life the fun that kids have been experiencing for thousands of years, except perhaps the cider.

But now we see children as young as 2 years old being given an Ipad to “play” with whilst mummy or daddy checks his facebook status, we see them cranking their necks over gorping over this screen with a kiddies app that has been designed just as well as Facebook to hook them into the tech addiction, just like us…

Then we take the Ipad away, because we remember that we are supposed to be there to have fun and enjoy quality time with our child, then starts the argument, the tantrum and we tell them that it is not good for them and how they should be playing with us and we try to reason with a two year old explaining the best reasons they should be playing with us and not with the tech addiction…

After an eternity we finally get them to calm down and we manage to open up a story book or play with a normal childs toy like a teddy bear, all for this to have distracted us from our Facebook status update which we were writing to the world to tell people we don’t like or know how amazing our life is when really we are arguing with our spouse, depressed as our friends are all too busy with their lives to even share a word with us…

So my answer to all this has been to make sure that not only meditation is part of my daily regime, but that I spend as much time as possible reading books to my daughter when I do see her, taking her to the park, letting her play on the piano, rather than let her get sucked into this mindless world we all thought was there to make our lives better…

Let’s strive to be better than we were yesterday and don’t look down upon the parents that see no other option but to let their kids play with these devices, but let’s help them to be more aware of the physical and mental damage that these devices do to the long term health of their children.

I would love to hear your opinions on this, please comment below or email me for help with content creation nat@natschooler.com

 

5 thoughts on “Parenting in the digital age”

  1. Awesome Nat! I’ve been observing this very thing for such a long time; it’s great to see how you put it so accurately into words and are actively doing something about it. I think there have been big sociological changes in our society due to ‘device addiction.’ It has brought-about some really rude and/or mannerless behaviour. Don’t get me started! (I can get describing this ad nauseum!)

  2. Yes, you really hit the nail on the head with this one! I took my granddaughter to the park the other day and parents were all on their phones while pushing them on swings or ‘watching’ them while they were playing. My grandchildren love the iPad and I try to do educational games and play with photographs with them. Also have the ‘trick’ of making sure that the battery is low before they arrive – but to do that I have to check, FB, Twitter, emails etc. OMG it is difficult to limit your use when you feel the world is sitting there waiting to communicate with you!

    • I really like your suggestion of making sure the battery is low before they arrive!
      You sum it up nicely “it is difficult to limit your use when you feel the world is sitting there waiting to communicate with you!”
      Thanks so much for reading and your helpful comments!
      Nat

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