Wow!  We have been back in Australia for 4 months now and I have finally got around to writing a blog.  Yes, it has been fairly full on with the whole resettling, re-establishing our home and family but all things considered, the adjustment has been pretty smooth.  There are still moments where it all feels a bit surreal but we are so thankful for wonderful family and friends around us who have helped us feel 'at home'.  

Many times we have been asked, 'what's been the biggest adjustment since coming home?'... and our reply has been an emphatic 'technology'.  We have observed huge changes in technology, the ease of access and excessive use among kids and adults alike.  The challenge for us, has been what lines to draw in relation to how we as a family assimilate back into our own culture, 'embrace' these developments and to what extent we allow it in our home. 

I am not anti-technology by any means.  We live in a developed world where technology is very much a part of our society and if we don't 'keep up' we will be left behind when it comes to the workplace and also when it comes to being able to relate to the next generation.  Technology brings some wonderful benefits.  We have a wealth of information at our fingertips and communication and networking has taken a quantum leap.  But like anything, it is generally not the tool that is the problem but how it is used.  

Like so many kids, ours are feeling pulled into the same trap of thinking that without computer games.. there is just 'nothing to do!'.  (as I said to my lot today...'because for centuries until now, children have been sitting on their hands!')  Well, it has motivated me to do some research of my own and I have found some very interesting and challenging articles that warn of the dangers of excessive use, not only psychologically but also physiologically.  As parents, we can't just shake our heads and throw our hands in the air as if there is nothing we can do about it.  We are still the parents and it is our responsibility to put not only restrictions and controls in place for our children's protection but to provide alternatives for our kids so that, in time, they will choose them for themselves over the video games.

I am talking about being creative in our approach to tackling the issue of technology in our homes.  We can get angry and start pulling plugs and banning this and that but if we are to win the hearts of our kids, I really do think we have to go a whole lot deeper.  I think we have to beat them at the game... out-romance the competition and woo them toward real, playful, multi-sensory experiences that build relationship, community and treasured memories.  God has given us a wonderful world and 5 senses with which to experience it.  Kids think 3D is cool...well 5D was invented first and its way better!!

This is not an easy battle, in fact, it feels like trying to swim against the flow of a whirlpool most of the time.  Tightening up the reigns on the technology use won't get us the popularity vote with our kids or their friends initially but I love my kids too much to remain passive on this issue.  I want them to become the healthy, creative, engaged in life, vibrant individuals God has created them to be; to use their gifts and experience life in all it's fullness!  

The battle for our kids hearts and minds is a battle worth fighting and I'm in it to win it! ... WHO'S WITH ME?!!!!!

 


DD
30/04/2012 6:05am

Technology,like anything else in our lives, can be slave or master. It's not to be feared or ignored, but embraced in a healthy, life-enhancing manner. There are parameters we have to observe in every area of life - and this is no different. Set your boundaries and keep moving forward. Ás someone so eloquently described the different generational approach to technology - our children are technology natives and we (the parents) are the immigrants in this new world. We are trying to understand something that our children absorb as natually as breathing - we are grappling with this new language and currency...it's not the world we were born into! Wisdom dictates we take the best from both worlds and give our kids the ability and insight to do the same.

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01/05/2012 1:38am

Good on you for taking a stand. I wish we'd been stronger. Our kids are 18 & 15 and particularly with the 18 year old, the days where we could control computer/technology usage are well and truly gone. It is so hard to "go against the flow" but so important to make sure our kids find hobbies and interests that AREN'T all electronic, that they KNOW that there are alternatives!

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