Silence hangs over the house like a heavy blanket on an otherwise beautiful afternoon.
You have several kids at home…there should be noise, so your imagination takes over.
They must be outside trying cigarettes or drinking a beer in secret. No way should they be this quiet.
But on your way to the back yard, you walk by the family room. Each kid sits quietly on the sofa, almost shoulder to shoulder, ears plugged with earbuds, shoulders slouched, neck bent, eyes fixed on 3.1 million glorious pixels. Not a creature stirred.
Moments like those make me want to yank out the earbuds and snatch every device. Then, in front of the kids, use a ball pein hammer to delicately shatter each iPad screen, and show them the door to the back yard where they should be playing.
But, since I have my own dysfunctional relationship with electronics, I tone down my response and give the kids five more minutes to wrap up before they get sent outside or must start a new, non-electronic activity.
So…what is it with our love-hate relationship with electronics and “screen time”?
As someone in my mid-40s, access to electronics growing up was limited. I might just harbor jealousy when I see what amazing resources my son has access to.
I had to go to the library and look up articles on microfiche. Part of me wants my son to share in my suffering.
Having just finished open house for my son’s fifth-grade class, half of the academic helps for our kids come in the form of iPad apps. So, now he can legitimately say screen time equals study time.
So, should I just give up?
It is time to embrace these amazing tools. It is also time to recognize my son’s job will likely have a close tie to his ability to utilize screen time.
But I will help him find a balance. He will hike with me. He will set up a lemonade stand. He will play an instrument. He will play rugby. He will help with DIY projects around the house.
And I might let him find the YouTube video to help out with the DIY project.
What role do electronics play in your home? What is your biggest struggle?