Are your kids starving.....
by Susie E. Caron © 3/22/2015
Are your kids starving....for relationship? Before you say "No", you may want to:
Answer these questions:
1.Do you know how many hours each day your kids focus on their electronics?
2. How many of those electronic hours are actually spent doing homework?
3. How many minutes, hours and days are really spent by your kids doing something "for fun", on their cell phones, iPods, tablets, computers and TV supported games?
Can you answer this question?
How many hours, on most days, do your children spend in face to face activities - with you, their parents, with grandparents, siblings, or friends? (This answer may surprise you.)
What's the Danger?
I asked you these questions because I want you to become aware of a very real danger to our children: Suddenly, as never before in history our children are receiving less and less exposure and experience in beginning, developing, struggling, and living with long lasting flesh and blood relationships. Instead, we are offering our children phony relationships and facsimiles of friends via social media, chats, email, internet games, and other electronically based activities. (We adults even call our acquaintances on Facebook "Friends".) Real relationships are key ingredients in our lives, our society and future. Real relationships cannot come through electronics. They must come "in person."
Why are real relationships so important?
As human beings we require a solid community of people to survive. We simply cannot live individually. To survive as human beings we need real relationships. Part of the challenge of parenting is to teach our kids how to develop and sustain them. We all know that infants cannot even survive without face to face, skin to skin contact with caregivers. We even have a name for what happens to them: "Failure to Thrive." But as soon as they begin to crawl we've started looking for the best 'tablet' to focus them on, in order to help them 'get a good start' intellectually. However, what is gained in early intellectual growth is sacrificed in emotional and social well being if you don't continue to spend personal time with kids and provide kids opportunities to spend time with family and friends, (without engaging in electronics).
How to limit the use of electronics.
I am not advocating that we toss out all electronics nor do I believe you need to take them away from kids. permanently. Those devices along with new ways of communicating are here to stay. However, I believe too much of a good thing can be really bad. What we need to do is to curtail the use of electronic gadgets by our children. Besides limiting how kids use them, set up rules about when and where they can be used. Provide an #Electronics-Basket where everyone deposits their gadgets as soon as they come home. Set a timer when family members want to play electronic games, chat with friends, check email, etc. Make certain electronics do not go to bed with children. (This is a very dangerous time for teenagers who stay up late on social..) Take them to the parents bedroom to be 'recharged' overnight. Return them only when kids comply with parents requests about preparing for school etc.
How to give kids relationship building opportunities.
More important than limiting the use of electronics, create ways to increase the time that you and your children spend with family and friends. There are so many ways to do this. Read together, take hikes, bike rides, go bowling, do yard work, chat and have a snack, shop together, go to the neighbors and visit. Model relationship, talk about your friendships and how you met and kept up the relationship. Show them, help them and teach them well. Your children's social and emotional wellness and the future of society depends on how well they learn to develop, sustain and maintain real flesh and blood, face to face relationships.
What do you think? Please leave a comment or question and share this article on social (but remember to set the timer!)
Twee' means you and me,
Susie E. Caron
These are from my former life with many current memories and helps for parents.
I retired from teaching, became a psychotherapist treating children and families and an author. After retiring I became a full time artist.
I recently reopened this parenting blog because I believe wisdom is to be shared.
Author of Chidren's Books,
Christian, Wife, & Mother, I want to help you build parent-child relationships, 1 blog, & books at a time.
When I'm not busy creating articles or paintings, you might find me looking for dark chocolate or playing with my Boxer, Josie.
These articles are for educational and self-help purposes only and are not intended as psychotherapy.
If you experience unusual symptoms or discomfort please see your medical or mental health practitioner.
No patent liability is assumed for use of the information contained. The author disclaims any responsibility for loss or risk for use or application of this material.
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Blog Reviews & Thank You!
July 13 at 7:17pm ·
Just wanted to say that I love your posts about the different ways to connect/relate/understand your child. It has given me a new approach towards understanding my daughter and allowing HER to tell me how she feels instead of me suggesting to her how she should feel. Thanks Susie!