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.