Do you constantly check your phone for updates? Do you text at the dinner table? Do you tell your kids to wait a minute while you see what the latest is on instagram? Do you feel special when you get more than ten likes?
Sound like you? You need to read this book!
The fabulous friend machine by Nick Bland is a story about a chicken (see my next post on backyard chooks!) who becomes addicted to her phone. She was once quite social with her real friends, talking, laughing and playing BUT she discovers a phone and falls in love with the screen and the instant gratification it brings!
I am sure many of us are at fault with this – we seek gratification, envy online pictures and strive to be the perfect person that those online friends seem to be. BUT really, does anyone have a life that is perfect? Is anyone really the most perfect friendly friend with no strings attached?
As parents we need to take a good hard look at how we use computers and the role we are portraying to our children – no matter what age.
We need our children to have a healthy relationships with their phone, i pad or computer and with the people that live online. We need to teach them that friends in person mean more, interaction with others mean more and real face to face conversations mean so much more.
Technology definitely has a place in our society but we have to be a lot more careful as to how we use it and how we allow our children to use it.
So what can you do?
- Make sure you have screen free time – turn off your notification so you only receive phone calls and text messages – no updates from social media.
- Take a step back from the people you follow online and notice that perhaps they can do those things because of extra resources, time or money. Do not compare yourself to people you don’t really know.
- Investigate the different social media options with your child – see what works best for them and tighten the privacy.
- Learn how to discern between appropriate and truthful information online. This is really important for future use when researching but also important when they are creating role models for themselves.
- Make sure your children use technology in a place where the screen can be seen from a young age. If you get into this habit from a young age it build up the relationship you have with your child and their technology use. As teenagers they will want to retreat into the privacy of their room so set up boundaries know so they know how to use technology when they don’t want your eyes around!
- Limit screen time!!! The more you give them as a young child, the more they will want as they grow up. Allow them to be bored. Allow them to play outside. See my blog on nature play to help with some tips here.
Find out what happens if you become too entrenched in the online world of many tricks.