On January 7th media exploded with Apple’s two leading stockholders’ urgent request of the tech-world behemoth: SAVE OUR KIDS FROM YOUR DEVICES!
And for a brief moment, the whole wide world snuggled up together and nodded in agreement as we all pondered the negative stats on our kids by overuse of electronic devices. In a nutshell these trends were cited in the article (HERE) in detail:
- students’ increased inability to focus on educational tasks
- students increasing emotional challenges
- students increasing social challenges
- students’ physical and social activity lessening
- students with higher risk factors for suicide
- students getting too little sleep leading to weight gain and high blood pressure
- And evidence tells us that, day-by-day as their heads are buried in social media, modern children are becoming heartless automatons.
A study by UCLA researchers showed that after 5 days at a device-free outdoor camp, children performed far better on tests for EMPATHY than a control group.
Do we really need a test, a statistic or a control group to convince us that kids whose days and nights are dominated by electronic devices rather than by human interaction will be less human, thus expressing less active compassion?
Is any of this a surprise to you parents??!
Of course not, because intuitively as the parents of our precious children, WE KNOW BETTER, which the article detailed (HERE) as follows:
- 58% of parents say they worry about the influence of social media on their child’s physical and mental health.
- 48% of parents say that regulating their child’s screen time is a “constant battle,” and
- 58% of parents say they feel like their child is “attached” to their phone or tablet.
We know how our devices affect us personally, as well as those we attempt to interact with who are dominated by their smartphones and laptops.
But apparently, Dads and Moms can’t seem to find the word ‘no’ in their vocabulary or the courage to enforce it when it comes to electronics and their children.
So we need Apple to, in essence, ‘parent our children’ because we aren’t doing our job?!
All this ‘helpfulness for parents’ is the sunny side of something called CONTROL.
Just like Seattle’s new tax (HERE) on soda and other sugary beverages which went into effect January 1st, adding a whopping cost of 1.75% per fluid ounce (HERE for how this affects our wallets) to ‘encourage citizens to cut down on the consumption of sugary drinks that have little nutritional value and are linked to obesity, diabetes and other health problems.’ BECAUSE SEATTLE’S CITIZENS CAN’T CONTROL THEMSELVES or their children and limit intake of sugary drinks…am I right??
So…since I can’t or won’t govern myself and my kids, someone else is enlisted to do the job at my expense in the form of increased taxes or hiking the price of my Frappucino, iPad, iPhone or laptop.
Furthermore, because there’s a gun to parents’ heads and parents can’t help but give their kids the password to the iPad or the iphone maybe Apple needs to keep the password from the parents, too, and create a new password daily to dole out on a timeline appropriate to the measure of the parent’s character??
Do you see the insanity of all this chatter?!
Could it be that parents are generally so stressed out, in debt, discontented and distracted that by the time they fly in the door from a long, tiring day at work plus commute, they are all too happy to hand their kid the iPad or the iPhone to get some relief from their restless, noisy children who haven’t been trained to entertain themselves with…
- reading and appreciating good books
- playing outside
- building Legos
- playing with the pure bred pooch their parents gave them
- using the expensive playground equipment Santa brought them??
Could it be that children aren’t being trained to regularly carry weight and develop emotional intelligence by…
- doing household chores
- serving their needy neighbors
- playing with their siblings
- preparing or helping to prepare simple meals?
Parents, what are we willing to do to save our children?
How serious are we about what we say we want for our families?
Some ideas for immediate relief:
- talk to our children about our sincere concerns, our hearts for them and their best interest and a clear plan for immediate change
- changing passwords and pressing restart
- unplugging during the school week with appropriate measures of time allotted as a reward on weekends
- declare that evenings are reading/digging in the dirt/art/sibling play time rather than vegging-in-front-of-the tablet time
- listen to music
- cook together
- take a walk together and appreciate nature
- sell the iPhones and get pre-paid flip phones
- go back to VCRS and dvds
And if that doesn’t quite go to the root of the issue and you really want to go for broke:
You might consider selling the house with the inflated mortgage, buying a lesser home, or renting a modest apartment, selling the second car that’s on payments, stop eating out and cut up the credit cards. Consider job/schedule changes and reduce hours spent commuting, so you have some mental, emotional, and spiritual margin left to cope with this serious mission to raise amazing children.
Parents WE are the example
Parents WE must unplug
Parents WE must address our overspending
Parents WE must make peace with OUR JOB to PARENT our children
Parents WE must train our muscle of ‘delayed gratification’ first, then apply this training to our children
Parents the power is in your hand
We have as our example a man who decidedly chose not to throw his hands up in the air and beg for help from Apple. He knew the power in his own hands.
In a 2010 interview, asked whether his kids loved the iPad, the late Steve Jobs, former CEO of Apple, famously said, “We don’t allow the iPad in the home. We think it’s too dangerous for them.” Even he recognized the threat to the children of the world he himself had unleashed.
If you found this post helpful, and would like some more practical empowerment for your parenting, grab my free E-book 15 Minutes to Raising an Extraordinary Human for a limited time HERE