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.