Tech-Wise Parenting

We have one tv in our house and none of our children have their own phone or smart device. We own one computer that they can use in public spaces, like the living room.  Even with all the things my husband and I have put in place, I still feel as though there is more we can do regarding technology and our kids. Because of that, I am always searching for tools and tips to help safeguard our kids from bad ‘tech’ habits. 

As our children get older (our oldest is 12) they are interacting more and more with technology. It is just a fact. It is very different comparing our childhood with my kids. My husband and I realize they are growing up in a completely different world when it comes to technology. They are surrounded by ‘smart’ things (I pity the device that isn’t smart) and tech that responds and answers any question they may randomly have.

Information, entertainment, and opinions are constantly swirling around them. Their world is very loud compared to when I was their age. 

One of the areas we struggle with is finding a way to have a healthy balance with all the technology. It is not that I think tech is bad, it is that it does need to exist within healthy boundaries and those boundaries need to be ones that my husband and I create–not the world or even for that matter, our friends.

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During vacation this summer I read a short book by Andy Crouch called The Tech-Wise Family: Everyday Steps for Putting Technology in Its Proper Place. I like this book because the chapters are short and it includes everyone –it doesn’t just speak to parents about kids –  it also speaks directly to children about their parent’s tech habits. Even grandparents are included. I would read a chapter at a time while we were traveling to this place or that and we would have great conversations about it. Illuminating conversations actually about technology and how it was “back in the ancient days” when my husband and were kids, and the postive and negative impact tech has on the world around us. 

It was interesting hearing our girl’s take on technology–their sense that yes, boundaries need to be in place, but that it is also very tempting as well.

It was also humbling to listen to their views about mommy and daddy’s tech habits. According to them we need to do bettr – and we both agreed. As I said, very humbling.

What I liked about this book was that it encourages the reader to put technology in its proper place. Andy Crouch isn’t dismissive of technology nor does he call it bad – he just encourages us to be in control of the devices we have and to remember screens are sneaky.

I think that this time of the year, back to school time, is the perfect time for me to rethink our tech habits – starting with Khari and I. Hopefully in a month or two when we check in with the girls they will say they have seen an improvement in our habits. I will keep you posted.

What is your relationship with technology like these days? What does ‘putting it in its proper place’ look like for your family. I would love to know so leave your thoughts and tips in the comment section below. 

As always, Stay Encouraged & Be Blessed

Chantel

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