Archive for the ‘Video Games’ Category

How to Reduce Your Child’s Screen Time


time spend on electronics

There is a constant debate among parents about how much screen time is too much for your children.  A recent NPR article gave a startling fact, “Most American children spend more time consuming electronic media than they do in school.

What can you do to better the way or reduce the time your kids are spending on electronic devices?

Be a Role-Model

Your kids are constantly watching and taking after you, especially when you’re not at your best.  They will remember if you pull out your phone at dinner, and if you try to reprimand them for doing the same thing, you’ll find yourself fighting an uphill battle.

tweens screen time parenting and screen time

Have Conversations About the “Real World”

Talk to your kids about the activities they do that don’t involve electronics. Having conversations about the sports they’re playing, the books they’re reading and other activities can draw their interest into these interests. This parenting tip is even more important for younger children as they are actively seeking out your attention.  So, if your kid notices that you talk more about their soccer game than their high score on a video game, they may be more inclined to work in soccer or outdoor activities more.

Involve your kids in rule making

If you can get your kids to come to an agreeance around appropriate electronic usage, they’ll be more understanding when they inevitably break the rule.  Plus, this opens up a great opportunity for you to have a discussion with your kids about how they’re using their electronics and what safe usage looks like.

parenting tips for amount of screen time parenting
We’d love to hear from you about this topic; do you limit your children’s screen time, and if so how does your family go about it?

The Pro’s and Con’s of Technology

We are surrounded by it all day, every day…technology.   We watch, listen, speak, and think with technology.  We know what an impact it has had on our lives because we can remember a day without it.  But, what affect does it have on our children?

A recent study by the Kaiser Foundation found that children between the ages of 6 and 16 spend an average of 7 hours and 38 minutes a day on the internet, television, or cell phone.

Does this surprise you?  Or are you thinking that they didn’t interview your children, because if they did, it would be more.

Technology has it’s benefits and the misuse of it has it’s regrets.  As parents, we’re here to help our children reap more of the benefits and avoid the regrets.

Here are some pro’s and con’s of using technology for you to consider as you set guidelines in your home.

 

Pro’s

Better contact – With a phone on their hip, it ensures that you’ll always be able to reach them, especially in an emergency.  It may improve your communication with them as well.  Texting can be a non-confrontational way to communicate when they are uncomfortable or have hurt feelings.

Empowerment – With an encyclopedia of information at their fingertips, technology gives your kids a place to figure out solutions and find answers on their own.  What a thrill for them and for you!

Teaching tool – Yes, technology is fun, but even “fun” games can be infused with learning too.

Prepares them for the future – Today’s kids are tomorrows work force.  They need to be able to navigate today’s technology as well as develop new ideas to be successful.

 

Con’s

Leads to laziness – Sitting in front of a screen all day can lead to a lethargic, sedentary lifestyle.  Childhood obesity is on the rise and it’s no wonder why.  Technology can take  away from playing outside and exercising.

Encourages instant gratification – Patience is a skill, a talent, a virtue, that must be nurtured and developed.  With answers just a click away, our children are becoming more impatient.

Depersonalizes everything – Face-to-face communication is a thing of the past.  We are becoming colder and more distant with every keyboard stroke.  The splendor of nature is also diminished by bright graphics and loud music.

Time consuming –  Even as adults we can waste time on the computer.  A simple email reply can lead to hours of time spent online, away from family.

Addictive –  Checking messages from the bathroom or taking the laptop to bed can be evidence that technology is taking over.  If your child’s life is fragmented by their gadgets and they can’t even focus on the task at hand, maybe an intervention is pending.

 

Whether you see more pros’ or more con’s when it comes to technology and your kids, remember the other side when making decisions that will alter their use.  Moderation is key.

Read a related article here: Technology and How It Affects our Kids 

What technology trends do you see with your children and how do you deal with them?

 

 

 

Technology and How It Affects Our Kids

In January, I shared with you my feelings about a book I had recently read, “The Demise of Guys”.  There has been an overwhelming response from people just like you that have similar feelings.

Traci, at http://www.beneathmyheart.net/shared this:

As a parent, I am so torn with how to raise my boys (that’s a picture of them above) in this day and age of technology-everything!

I feel the pressures of trying to keep up with the Joneses.  Many of Jonathan’s friends in middle school have iphones, ipods, kindles, etc.  Jonathan doesn’t.  He totally deserves them, but my heart tells me not to give them to him yet.

{*NOTE:  I am NOT judging any parents of children with iphones and ipods.  I know many wonderful parents with wonderful children that have iphones, ipods, etc.  The most important thing to consider is how much we let our children use these items.}

I think the main reason I resist is because I see how technology has affected me.  When I started blogging 4 years ago, I never in a million years thought my blog would become my business.  Now that it is my “job,”  I have to spend many hours on my computer… tweeting, facebooking, pinning, writing, sharing, editing, etc.  It never ends.

I’ve started realizing something.  I’m having trouble letting my mind “rest.”

When I do get a little quiet time, I find my mind is filled with “Oh I need to tweet that!”, “Should I text her?”, “Did I take those pictures for that post?”, “Wonder if my facebook group is talking about something important?”

I have such a hard time “resting” my mind before God, and it bothers me.  I truly believe that it is because I saturate my mind with technology all day long, and I can’t turn it off.

So here are my thoughts….if I struggle with that as a 42 year old adult that has only been submerged in technology for the past 5 years, how is that going to effect my boys who have been saturated with it since birth?  Literally.

Are they going to be able to “rest”?   Are they going to be able to turn their mind away from their iphones and ipads long enough to develop real and meaningful relationships with people in their everyday lives?

Those are the questions I ask myself.  I don’t have the complete answer, but I believe that studies are starting to show how technology can negatively affect our children.

As the mother of 4 boys as well, I worry about the purity of their minds.  I know that I cannot protect them from every harmful thing in life, and I don’t want to.  It is through those difficulties that we can grow.

But as far as pornography goes, I will do everything I can to protect them from the life-wrecking effects of it.  There’s no question about it…it can destroy a man’s life.  It’s black and white.  No discussion.  Not a choice.

And here’s another comment from Lauren:

I know you will probably get tons of emails about your post today, but I had to chime in to say THANK YOU for writing this post!!!  As a mother of a 16 year old boy, I am all too aware of what technology can and is doing to our youth.  I struggle daily with his gaming and how much time he spends doing it, which in turn creates many “discussions” with him regarding the dangers of it.  He doesn’t understand and sadly, I really feel like it has negatively impacted my relationship with him.

My solution has been to set boundaries.  He is only allowed to play games for certain time periods and has to turn off (or turn in to us) his ipad and phone by 9pm.  I can only hope that he realizes in time that we did the right thing by setting these boundaries.

Thank you again for writing this post and bringing more awareness to this subject.

 

It’s all up to the parents to realize it is our responsibility to set limits and understand just how important this issue is if we want our children to become healthy well adjusted adults.

I hope that as parents we can wake up to the fact that we have an influence on our children, for good or for bad.   And it doesn’t take force.  We can lovingly guide and lead and direct them for good.

The statistics prove that times are changing.  Let’s make sure they change for the better.

Click here to view my first article, “Alarming Trends About Guys and Technology“.

 

And thank you Traci and Lauren, for caring and sharing your thoughts on the subject.