I was reading a local newspaper article this weekend about a man who is trying to raise his children as media free as possible. He claims that he is fanatical about going outside and trying to do physical activities as well as implementing a few rules in regards to media usage. His co-author was poking fun of him through out the article and even went on to say that he was “holding” his children back from socializing and connecting with peers in the present day dynamic.
I am wondering why, as parents, it is holding our children back, or denying them their rights if we attempt to make them well-rounded, and all around healthy individuals. I am not saying, nor have I ever stated that we should deny children the usage of technology, or even media. I do think that there is a line between allowing our children to utilize technology to further their knowledge base, and kids being addicted to texting, or facebook. When we, as parents, do not set up rules and limits in regards to media devices we are in essence showing our children that they cannot and should not be able to live without their technological devices. I am wondering when, we as parents, lost control and gave it to our children?
A few of the tips that the author gave was:
- NO computers in their bedrooms, EVER.
- Have a time limit for any computer/media usage.
- All media devices were to be put away during ANY meal.
- They had to do at least one non-media related activity per day.
Parents need to set up perameters, and boundaries so that our children know what the expectation is. Many articles, interviews, and research with adoloscents show a majority wish that their parents would set up rules, and ask them to not be on the computer as much. They wish parents would have limits on personal usage too, and gave them more attention. Some of the teenagers stated that they didn’t think they could stop their facebook, video game, computer usage or texting addiction without the assistance of family. So, maybe now, we can take back some of that control and at least set up some rules and limits when it comes to media usage.