One of my previous employers used to always say…”You know that white stuff on top of chicken sh*t? It’s still chicken sh*t.” I always laughed at this because we all try to make things different and/or better than what they are. Below is my effort….
It’s not that I don’t understand limiting and monitoring my children’s Internet/Technology time…I totally get it. Really, I do. They shouldn’t have free range with violent video games, R rated YouTube videos or unlimited TV time. These can cause all sorts of issues, such as behavior problems and unhealthy views of our world today.
However, quiet comes at a price. Technology keeps them quiet, therefore I get quiet. Seriously, I was had at quiet. And this blog is about survival, so let’s beef up our excuses for this latest parenting faux pas.
And although Quiet is the number one reason (read, excuse), there are others that should be pointed out. For example, if we didn’t allow our children free rein in technology, who would help us program our smartphones or tell us how to download apps? I would never have known about the search and programmable features of our TV without my boys. Those functions would never have occurred to me. If what I wanted to watch, wasn’t on, then that would have been the end of it for me. Now….I have the luxury of telling my boys what I want to watch and then they TELL me when I can. Irony….yes.
The World Wide Web has definitely sparked some much-needed conversations in our house. For example, I didn’t have to tell them Santa didn’t exist, where babies come from or what’s happening in the world today. My 10-year-old knew more about the election than I did. He tells me when there are wars or strife around the world. He tells me where our country stands on certain issues. He told me that Hitler only had one nut. He also keeps his younger brother informed of all of this needed knowledge. All I have to do is be ready to answer their questions, as honestly as I can. My boys and I have had many in-depth conversations about religion, politics, sex, evil, child abuse, zombie apocalypse and war. When my boys want something, I get a link to it and they discuss the reviews of that product in-depth with me. I mean, even I didn’t know that you could make a cake in a jar or grow potatoes in a bag….or….
Technology increases knowledge. Technology provides every imaginable resource under the Sun to help with any imaginable topic. Your kids need help with typing, history, science, Gospel, geography/cultures, astronomy, languages, etc….just Ask Google. We, as parents, practice this daily, if not hourly. So why should our kids be at a disadvantage that we don’t subscribe to ourselves? If my kids are studying Amsterdam, then it’s ok if they know what the Red Light District is, for it’s as part of Amsterdam as Anne Franke’s hideout. Then, it’s my job to point out the evils and immorality of that neighborhood. If my kids are studying war, it’s ok if they get a glimpse of the realities of it. As a parent, I don’t check out or even take a backseat; just more of a co-pilot role. My boys have learned to use their heads to formulate strategies in their violent war Xbox games. My boys know that Abraham Lincoln didn’t hunt zombies. We actually talk about the inconsistencies of history and the Art of War.
Technology won’t fry their brain. Their eyes won’t literally cross from watching the TV too close. Yes, the parents need to be there to stalk what their children are doing. Yes, parents need to be available and ready to ensure their child’s safety. However, participating in technology is no different that your children participating in real life.
Did I mention the quiet?