Friday, January 6, 2012

Simplifying.

I've had some discussions with family and friends recently that have made me pause, want to rewind and regroup. In one of the conversations the topic was about kids and the addiction to electronics these days. My awesome sister-in-law pointed out the fact that the addiction comes from the parents. If your child sees you frequently in front of the computer, your phone, the television, etc. then that's what they think they need as well. I had probably subconsciously made that connection before, but it had never been verbalized for me until that moment.

The very next day, my siblings were all sitting around on the couch, each with smart phones in hand and a basketball game on in the background. My one year old went around to each one of them trying to get a phone. When he was unsuccessful he started to cry. I distracted him with a toy and he soon forgot about wanting a phone to play with. To me, it was a confirmation to what my sister-in-law had just said the previous night.

Technology is amazing and awesome and so incredibly useful. But it also scares me. It scares me that my children are growing up in a day in age when if you don't have some sort of electronic on in the background or in your hands, you are bored. Where teenagers don't even have the conversation skills to interview for a job because they are more use to texting and facebooking than actually talking to a human being. Where people are more and more desensitized by the games they play and the shows they watch.

My resolution, not just for the new year but for my new life (too cheesy?), is to spend less time in front of these things and more time pulling out the paints, taking a walk to the park, discovering new museums, building lego towers, racing hot wheels, reading books, baking pretzels and telling stories. Creating moments where my boys can learn, grow and explore rather than just be "entertained" is going to be my priority. It will be hard. Because, let's face it, it's so much easier (and less messy) to put on a show or set up a computer game than it is to bring out craft after craft and toy after toy to keep them entertained.

But there will be no more excuses.

Wish me luck!

p.s. I won't be updating this blog for a while, so please excuse my absence.

12 comments:

  1. Good girl! Proud of you. Very inspiring. I am going to do MUCH better. My babes is still too little to know the difference but she will start to soon enough so I better just get in the habit. The same things have made me nervous for a while. I want the BEST for my kids and they can learn so much by DOING instead of being idle. I don't want to have any regrets of the time spent with my babies. They will ALWAYS come first.
    And kids or no kids, it is just better to get off your behind and make memories and be better.
    Thanks for your post

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  2. I agree with you. I am not a TV person, I work so much, day and night that whatever free time I have at home is mean to be playing doll, kitchen and silly games with Cami. It is true, kids follow what their parents do, I can see it with Cami, she in getting into cakes and decorating cookies, the mess is insane! but worth it.

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  3. My sister-in-law drove to girls camp last year and the girls were fighting over being in the van that had a DVD player. She said to the girls in her car, "Look out the window -- at THE WORLD AROUND YOU." I think DVD players in cars are ridiculous.

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  4. I found this out after Christmas when Our two daughters and their families were there. I have a Nook, I hardly open it. I have too much other stuff to do. I have an i-pod shuffle and don't have time to download songs on it. Scott always said that there is not enought conversation and that teenagers don't know the are of conversation one with another. You are a great parent.

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  5. A wonderful idea! But I'm also hoping you don't leave your blog altogether, yours is one of my very favorites. Have fun with all that! I also have similar ambitions (especially once the baby's day doesn't revolve around nap after nap anymore...)

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  6. hey now, you can still update the blog when the kids are in bed! don't leave us (blog land?) completely :)

    i TOTALLY get what you're saying though. my kids (and i) could use A LOT less screen/gadget time.

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  7. you are wise beyond your years, my friend.

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  8. I totally agree... we haven't had cable for several years, which makes it easier to not turn on the t.v. every time we're bored. We still have to be careful about movies and computer time, though. Thanks for the reminder.

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  9. This is so true. The other day I was watching my 12 year old play on her iPod Touch and wondering why she spends so much time on that thing. Of course not 2 minutes later, my phone buzzed with a Facebook update, and I snatched that thing up like it was gold! It was such an eye opening moment for me. Thank you for the reminder to start by looking in the mirror and then make the necessary changes.

    I love your blog, Hil! It is one of the handful that I still read regularly. Even if I haven't been so great at commenting lately...

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  10. You always give me something to ponder, Hilary. I completely agree. I am blessed to have a job that allows me to work from home, but the negative to that is that my kids see me on the computer all the time. I wish I could somehow squeeze 40 hours/week while they slept, but that would keep me up all night long. hehe. But...I agree. We try to combat that by not spending out free time on the computer. They only see me working, which doesn't look very fun to them. I wish I could just be a stay at home mom and turn off the computer all the time. Someday...that's the goal if I can survive this second degree. This is the whole reason I'm going back to school; to retake my home time! Working from home, in some ways, is harder than working away. Enjoy your kiddos, Hilary. You are one lucky mommy. (And those kids are lucky to have someone who can put them first!!!) Love you!

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