Monday, April 29, 2013

A Sign of the Times...


Before I get on my technology rant, I just want to say that I DO in fact like and enjoy computers, Ipods, Ipads, and of KINDLE.

But I do have to wonder what all this access to and use is doing to children. They're now part of the "Touch Screen Generation". There is so much education available at their fingertips. But I have to say, it really irks me when my kiddo has a friend over and they end up just sitting next to each other on their Ipod Touches.
PS that doesn't fly in my house.
You come over to my house to play, you PLAY.

Then I saw this article at MailOnline:

  • Survey says eight out of ten parents restrict gadget use as punishment
  • On average, children spend nearly two hours a day on favorite gadget
And then this article iPad Tantrum Gets Family Thrown Off Plane
(all because someone took the Ipad away)

I confess, I have used restriction of my kiddo's electronic use as a punishment. And have enforced TWO electronic free days in our house (WED and SUN) for about a year.
Actually, I thought it was kind of sad that I even had to.

Now that she's getting older, I'm concerned with the access she has to YouTube and Safari. Not because I don't trust to her but because of what she might accidentally see. So I'm looking into safe browsers now.

Fortunately, I am in a neighborhood with lots of kids and they do spend a lot of time playing jailbreak, skateboarding, and being outside. THANK GOODNESS. 

However, kiddo just had a sleepover this past weekend, and I had to confiscate all the electronics everyone brought over because it was causing nothing but havoc.

Once I did that, I suggested they play a game and then peace and laughter came into the house once again as they all settled in with some Sponge Bob Monopoly. :)

But this is what my kitchen counter looked like when I took away all their junk:

TWO Ipads and THREE Ipod Touches. And there were only four kids.

A sign of the times. :(

Do you see electronic use as a problem for kids today? What steps do you take to monitor and control it?

**Also wanted to remind people that my giveaway for Kissing Kendall is still on and running thru this Thursday over at Write4Two.  


Laura Pauling said...

I'm with you. My kiddos have no electronic use during the week. Though I do let my son text on his Touch - but no games. And I deactivated the safari and youtube apps for now on it.

I walked past a family at a restaurant and every single one was on a device - no one was talking as they waited for their food. That made me sad.

Linda G. said...

I do see it as a problem, and I cheer on parents like you who limit access. It can't be healthy for a kid to be wired in 24/7.

Maria Zannini said...

How sad that all of us are so tied to these devices. Technology is both a blessing and a curse.

Veronica Bartles said...

My kids are the most unconnected bunch! They SHARE a cell phone (which isn't even a smart phone) between the 4 of them, none of them have ipods (or tablets), although they do have 2 Kindles to share, and my son has a Nook that he bought with money he earned babysitting. They get 1/2 an hour per week of free computer time (time spent doing homework doesn't count against them), and we don't turn on the TV on school days. Sometimes, this causes issues, like when my daughter's teacher sent out a schedule change via facebook & my daughter (who doesn't have a facebook account) didn't see the change. And the kids' friends definitely think it's odd that my children aren't online every day, but overall it works better for our family this way. We're too busy to spend so much time connected to screens!

Debora Dennis said...

I'm torn on this. For the younger kids, yes I see it as a definite problem...once they hit those late teens and they're driving and gone all the time, it's a different ball game.
We've tried to drum in the "no texting and driving" rule, but to be honest I like that my teens are connected to me at the touch of a button.
If they're going to late, if there's car trouble or even if my daughter missed the bus, I know about it.
We have a strict policy of no phones at the dinner table - we have a basket in the foyer - all phone go in the basket on the way to the table and I don't care how many beeps I hear...NO ONE leaves the table to check the phone.

Connie Keller said...

When my kids were young, I restricted them to half an hour of games. (This was obviously before e-readers, etc.) But it does scare me how ubiquitous electronic gadgets are, and I wonder how it will affect our kids, especially interpersonal skills. I already see that my adult kids would all rather email than make a phone call ("Euw, why would I want to talk to person X--I'll just email.")

Stacy McKitrick said...

When I was growing up, television was the evil item in the house. All kids did were sit around and vegetate (or so it was reported). At least you couldn't carry it around with you.

What really gets me is that those things you confiscated are NOT cheap! Neither are the data plans that go with them. My kids broke EVERYTHING. I can't imagine kids are any different today.

Linda Kage said...

Our iPad is both a plus and problem.

It has some cool preschool learning aps that I think has helped my kiddo learn colors, shapes, the alphabet, and animals. There is this one app she uses where she can trace numbers and has written 1 through 8 (well, the 8 looks really wonky, but she tries!).

Then again, she gets into a lot of places she shouldn't. And not all the games she plays are cool. And yes, she is currently banned from it as punishment for something.

Jessica R. Patch said...

On Celebrity Apprentice last night one of their challenges was to do a commercial introducing new products from (I can't remember lol) but it's a smart TV, fridge, oven, washer/dryer where it will tell you dinner is done, you're low on milk or it's expired and as you run out of food you can enter it into the fridge smart screen and it will link to your phone grocery list. And the TV will take any 2D and make it 3D, which I hate btw) but I thought it's like Jetsons for real!

I admit to using technology to punish my daughter. No clean room. No phone. I swear it's like pulling flesh from her bones. Not the internet so much as the TEXTING! Oy!

I've seen 15 month old babies unlock a phone screen, swipe to the game app and interact. Yeah, it's pretty amazing how smart babies are but also, kind of scary.

Cindy R. Wilson said...

We definitely have all these gadgets in the house. We haven't had too many problems yet, but I do sometimes have to restrict computer or ipod privileges for punishments. The hard part is that my oldest uses her computer to write stories and her ipod to listen to music which I do ALL the time. Once we get the cell phone thing going, though, I am willing to bet that's going to be an issue.

CMOM Productions said...

I have a love hate relationship with technology. It's amazing but it sometimes sucks the life out of the world. We set restrictions on "electronics" time here and my sons have the chance to earn or lose it.

Nancy said...

I agree enough is enough. I'm glad my kids were just getting into the computer when they were teens. Of course, they had tons of video games. Hope you continue to hold the line.

Old Kitty said...

Well done you for introducing your kiddo and her friends to Sponge Bob Monopoly! LOL!! Oh these gadgets could be so useful for education etc but they do seem to be taking over somewhat don't they? Oh dear!! Take care

Carol Kilgore said...

I think this is an issue, and there needs to be some restriction on use. Probably it will be different for each family, but these things shouldn't be 24/7 appendages for any of us. Adults or kids.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

Yes I do. (And you should hear my husband rant on the subject.) When you see a family eating together and half of them are busy using their phones, that drives me bonkers.

Bethanne Strasser said...

Yeah. This. I know there are good reasons to have a cell phone for emergencies. For me, if and when my kids are out and about, driving around and such, they'll get the cheapest little flip phone with 200 minutes a month.

I don't mind technology, but I am not going to pay for it. I think that's the worst part. Hard economic times...but the poorly dressed woman in front of me at the grocery store with her WIC or Foodstamps is just asking for me to bite her head off when she pulls out her iPhone. :P

I had dinner with a family member once, she spent about 80% of the time on her phone. WTH?

Shelley Munro said...

Definitely! And it's not just kids either. Have you been at meals where everyone tinkers with their phones?

It's no wonder we, as a nation, are getting bigger when only our fingers are exercised.

Liza said...

You are so right to limit and monitor. Period.

Theresa Milstein said...

My daughter is good at regulating her time. My son used to have a harder time, but he's improved. School has become a bigger priority for him which has helped. Still, I need to keep track of his time. I should be more limiting.

Editors At Work said...

I agree with you Jennifer. I had limited my daughter to cell phone use when she was in high school and she passed through with high marks. Now that she is in Medical School I don't limit-she knows what's best for her, doesn't she?

Great post! (4 kids-2 ipads and 4 ipods?!)


Susan Flett Swiderski said...

YES, I do see it as a problem. Example: we were visiting our son and his family over the weekend. One of my granddaughters and I were up early one morning, and we were reading one of the books on her pad. (Don't ask me exactly what gadget it is... it's a pd with a ton of books and videos and games on it.) The battery pooped out, and we had to turn it off, so I suggested she get a "real" book for us to read. Nope. She got one of her brothers' pads. Then ITS battery died. For a moment, she looked completely lost. (But trust me; grandma snapped her out of it!)

But then again, I marvel at how well the kids can navigate all their electronic gadgets. Even the 18-month-old knows how to turn them on and scroll down to find what she wants, etc. Amazing.