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Technology and Our Children

Technology and Our Children

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When I was growing up in the country we had 3 channels on our television, and a phone in our kitchen. We got our fist computer when I was 9 years old, which I used to play games, like solitaire and mine sweeper. When we got the internet, I was in high school, and my parents got it so we could have better resources when writing papers. Their biggest concern surrounding me and technology was how long I was tying up the phone line in the evenings while talking to my friends.

Kids have access to so much more than I could have ever imagined, which can be both a blessing and a curse. We are seeing social media exploding every day, with facebook and twitter as ways to network and meet people from all over the world. We have access to so much knowledge with a click of a button. We can connect with friends via cell phone or text at any time. And have access to hundreds of channels on the television. I would say a lot has changed in the last 10, okay 15 years!

I recently came across an article about a mom who bought her son an IPhone for Christmas. Her son, Greg Hofmann is 13 years old, and the gift didn’t come without any strings attached. His mother, Janelll, came up with a contract, one that he had to follow if he wanted to keep the phone. The contract contained a few of these conditions…

  •   It is my phone.  I bought it.  I pay for it.  I am loaning it to you.  Aren’t I the greatest?
  •  I will always know the password.
  •  If it rings, answer it.  It is a phone.  Say hello, use your manners.  Do not ever ignore a phone call if the screen reads “Mom” or “Dad”.  Not ever.

You can read more about this story Here.

This article brought up some thoughts and fears I had for my childrens future regarding technology.  It got me thinking about what we would do once the time came that my son wanted a tv in his room, or access to the computer, and when he is old enough to want a cell phone of his own.  How did I feel about these ‘conditions’ and would they be something I would implement.

So my husband and I sat down and started talking about what the future holds.  I would love to say that we will  shield him from the curses of technology but reality is, its part of our day to day living and something that our children will have access to.  Just because times have changed, doesn’t mean that I can’t limit, educate,and communicate with my children so they use this technology is a safe way.  We will enforce tough but fair rules to make sure that they aren’t being abused, just like anything else in life.

This mothers contract is a bit tongue in cheek.  Its a way of opening up communication with her son while teaching him the proper etiquette, respect and responsibility that every child needs to learn. Her contract brings up a lot of concerns and feelings that I will have when my son reaches this age, and makes me feel better knowing that I am not alone in feeling this way.  Its also helped me realize that technology isn’t all good or all bad, and that we can find a happy medium with our children.  I will keep this contract in mind in a few years.

Do you agree with the contract that this mother made for her son?  Do you have restrictions on your children’s use of technology?  If so, what are they?  Can’t wait to hear your thoughts and feelings. 

Last week I wrote a blog about being turned out. Check it outHere.


Tricia is a work-at-home mom to one little boy. She and her husband have just celebrated another wedding anniversary and they live in the Ottawa Valley. Tricia has traveled the world and has lived in many countries around the globe, which gives her a unique insight into how different yet similar moms around the world are. Tricia can also be found blogging at Ottawa Family Living Magazine.

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Comments (1)

  1. Julie Friday - 25 / 01 / 2013 Reply
    That's very good parenting I think to think well in advance and to be prepared to set rules that work for you and your family with regard to technology. I do respectfully disagree with you on one point, after reading the referenced article I don't think it was at all tongue in cheek. It seems to me it was a sincere and very, very well thought out list of rules, with sound reasons for the rules outlined as well. I must admit we don't follow all the rules she outlined, we don't have them hand over the phone at night and it can go to school with them, but it is not to be used in class, so that's where I say rules that work for your family. There are some that I wish I had said or had said as clearly and I think I will print out the list and make sure that they are known if I didn't say them before. The only one I'm surprised she didn't include that we always enforce is no cell phones at the dinner table, ours or grandmas or wherever. Which is for everyone in our home, kids and adults alike. It is a good idea to give kids things so you can take them away. lol! Seriously, even though my daughter has now bought her own phone, and pays for her own time, the service is still in my name so if necessary, if she wouldn't hand over the phone, I could discontinue the service for a period of time if I thought it was a necessary consequence to some phone misuse. She is a good and trustworthy kid and I have never had to take the phone away at all in over two years, but she is aware that that potential consequence is out there.

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