Lately, the world has become a scary place. Or lets face it……its been that way for awhile.
In my eyes, today’s society has stripped our children of their childhood. Technology has stripped them.
Granted, everyone is brought up differently and every family has their own way of life.
My childhood didn’t include endless hours in front of the TV watching cartoons or playing video games.
When I think of my childhood it brings a smile to my face and tugs on my heart strings. Today, driving back from my parents house looking in rear view mirror watching my children each holding an ipad playing their games as we sped down the road….. I thought to myself…….they are missing so much and it’s my fault, not theirs. I passed mini van after suv with dvd players playing in the backseat and my car was included in that category.
My family went on vacation every year. I was fortunate enough to have this opportunity. Of all those trips I only remember one, where technology played a part in the trip and that was my sophomore year of high school…..a VHS player in a van as we strolled down the road. Instead of my head glued in a cell phone or ipad…..I played car bingo…..or I spy with my little eye. I took in the scenery and mother natures landscape.
I don’t want my children to miss out on the little things, the important things all because I allow them to indulge in the meaningless things only for the sake of my sanity and plea of a quiet trip home.
This led me to think about how so much our world and time has changed and how it affects our kids lives.
Gone are the days of letting our child walk down the road alone to a friends house. Gone are the days of letting a child use the restroom by themselves. Gone are the days of leaving your children in your car while running into the gas station to pay for your gas. Gone are the days of sending our children to the mall or movies with friends and not having to worry that they won’t be gunned down by someone for no reason. Gone are the days where schools were the place kids felt safe and out of harms way. Gone are the days of letting a child have a childhood instead of forcing them to grow up way to soon due to demands from today’s society. Gone are the days of trusting someone you think you know to watch your children.
My childhood was filled with SOO many great moments.
Making a tepee out of bark and zip ties with my brother acting like we were Indians and expecting to run away to our imaginative camp some night.
Fishing with the family—ALWAYS getting my hook caught in my hair or someones shirt.
Putting on plays in the hay loft after spending hours trying make it the best we could.
Running the creek beds looking for animal tracks and trying to identify them.
Singing “This Little Light of Mine” around my Aunt Lenora’s piano with a handful of other kids and cousins.
Standing in a corner with soap in my mouth for singing “Achy Breaky Heart” by Billy Ray Cyrus.
Skipping down the drive way with my grandpa singing skip to my lou……
Riding four wheelers through the windrows in the hay field……
Girl Scouts—-soooo many great memories with this group. We had amazing leaders. Singing songs….camping…..singing carols at the nursing homes… SELLING cookies of course.
4-H- making a dessert and selling it at the auction and enjoying that dessert with the person who bought it. All loading up in a livestock trailer and going from one family to another singing Christmas carols.
Riding in parades in support of my grandpa again supporting him for State Representative.
Showing animals…..cakes……photography……at the county fair.
Feeding cattle and driving while my dad feeds from the back of the truck.
Spending hours at church hanging out with the youth group and putting on the Christmas pageant.
Swimming in the pond…….not the pool.
The list could go on and on and on…. (kind of like how this post is getting).
Point being, what do they have in common? None of them include technology.
I will be the first to admit that I let my kids watch way to much tv and spend to much time on the ipad. It is the norm in today’s society but that doesn’t mean it has to be your norm.
The rest of the way home I thought of ways I could give my children those memories and moments that they would remember for years to come. Granted they are 2 and 4 and are just now coming into a time where they will maybe remember things. Even so, I want them to have those moments. As a stay at home mom, I use technology as an out or a time out from having to play with them so I can finish a household task or get two minutes to myself. It shouldn’t be that way. Tonight I vow to myself to do better. I’m not saying I won’t let them have it every now and then but I won’t use it as a way to occupy them from getting “bored”. There is a whole world outside for that. Same thing goes as far as having my nose stuck in my phone instead of giving them my full attention. I do it a lot, and I am trying to do better on not doing. Leaving my phone lying in the other room or putting it on silent all together.
Truth is, these are moments we can’t get back. These are moments I can’t get back of them doing something they are proud of and seeing the look on their face. Or moments they are missing of spending with me because they see my phone being more important than them.
The world will forever be changing…advancing…..technology will drive the continuing advancements the most. It’s not that it’s a bad thing, but it is CRUCIAL that we don’t let it change us or our priorities or our family aspect for that matter.
So here is saying bye to the days of technology controlling my life, my families life. Here’s to saying welcome back to the days of bonding time…enjoying gods beauty work…..and raising my children like I was raised……with LOVE, FAITH, FAMILY, and FARMING. I may not be able to give my children the memories I have but I can give them moments to remember—it may not be a tepee made of zip ties and bark…….but it could be something even better!
Love your articles. You are so good at getting your point across. My daughter received an ipod 2 years ago as a Christmas gift. We are pretty strict as to its use, but it is just one more thing to argue about. It would be so much easier to NOT have it. We got rid of our TV in November. Now, instead of tuning in to that, we tune in to each other. Much more talking and communicating. (We do have a TV that ONLY is able to play DVD’s, so as a special treat we will rent a movie. We don’t often do it. It doesn’t hold much appeal any more.) It just makes me feel better to know there are others out there who struggle with the same things I do. Some days it seems like everyone is so different… I think we all need to evaluate our technology use. It is a great tool, but it also can monopolize too much of our time and keep us from really valuable experiences.
This is one of my biggest struggles! I have a 11 year old and a 5 year old. My older child grew up behind the counter of a store or booth, where I needed him to be quiet and entertained. Now my husband complains he is on technology too much. Its not his fault, it is ours. We have been working really hard at managing “our” time differently. We even have a painted canvas tepee made from canvas and poles 🙂 that the boys play in our yard with. The baby ducks, chickens and bottle goat help too! We can do this!