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Is technology robbing our children of their childhood?

Posted by on Sep. 28, 2013 at 1:04 PM
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Ok, this is my first post so please be kind ;) Anyway, I am an 80's kid/90's teenager, and I remember a childhood where I actually PLAYED! And when I became too old to "PLAY" I still SOCIALLY interacted with my friends.  Now, I have been raising children since 2004 when I married DH who had custody of his three children and we had 2 more.  So I have been parenting with age ranges from now 20 yr old being the oldest and 2 yr old being the youngest.  I don't know if this is just an isolated incident in our house or if any of you have experienced this too, but my children NEVER ask to play! The will do the things they are responsible for doing their chores and always do what they're told when asked, but when they have their down time the iPads/iPods come flying out. I will own up to the fact that we are not strict about their use of these items and when we do tell them to put something away they do.  However, when they do they just sit there like they have no other idea of how to entertain themselves. They never ask to have friends over or to go to friends houses. I'm just wondering if anyone else has experienced this? And, I'm not talking the social interaction from extra curricular sports or activities.

I think how I'm going to try to resolve it is by discussing with my mom friends that have children that my kids know if they would be interested in some sort of program to get the kids active and socializing again. My first rule will be NO TECHNOLOGY! I know if I can peak an interst it will a lot of work. I know people may say what if there's an emergency? That's why I need to seek as many parent that I know and see if there is an interest so in the event of an emergency they can contact one of us! There! Problem solved. I don't know if it will work, but I'm willing to try. I have memories of a childhood, where is my children's memories going to be of a specific app they used at a time period in their life?


Edit! First, thank you all for your comments! As I said, I completely own up to the fact that we don't restrict their usage of technology.  They know grades and responsibilities are a MUST or else those privileges are gone! Actually, RIGHT after I submitted this post I put my iPad down, turned it off and collected the girls, lil guy was sleeping. I told them to turn off their devices and GO OUT SIDE TO PLAY!!! I told them get some board games, or play in the yard or read a book.  They chose to give each other make overs lol. Oh did they have a great time :). Then we went and visited family friends, we all had dinner together and they interacted with each other and not one computer was seen.  I did tell them things are going to change. I told them that I didn't want them growing up thinking they had a pathetic excuse for a childhood. No they aren't banned from technology, it's just not going to be their best friends.

by on Sep. 28, 2013 at 1:04 PM
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Replies (1-10):
mjimaging
by Melissa on Sep. 28, 2013 at 1:15 PM
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My kids are overly dependent on technology. We don't have Internet but they had iPods and iPads. DS recently has been playing with his toys more, which I'm happy about but we have been holding the iPad back from him. DD is much older and she loves her iPod but she also reads a lot. She doesn't really like to play and occasionally she does social things but she's kind of lazy. We are trying to work on getting we more active.
Saharra
by Bronze Member on Sep. 28, 2013 at 1:20 PM
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I have a 6 and 4 yr old. Games run REALLY strong (as far as addictive behavior) on my side of the family, so I knew this was coming. I saw my 6 yr old ALWAYS asking when we would go to grandmas, or even at home. So we started using it as a reward system. Have good grades or did a good job at school you earn game time. And we put a timer on it. We have seen a huge difference in his behavior. And I love that he's always playing with toys now :)
countrymomma81
by Platinum Member on Sep. 28, 2013 at 1:28 PM
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My kids are 6 and 11. They each have tv's in their room, DD (6) has a Wii that hasn't been played in 2 years. DS has an xBox 360 that gets played a few times a month except for when he gets a new game, which isn't often. 

They have access to my iPad as often as they want it and they each have an iPod touch that barely leaves their hands. They don't know how to entertain themselves inside, however outside is a different story. 

I would like to say though, that between the both of them they are in football, cheer, hip hop, dance (ballet, tap & jazz), softball, baseball, basketball, soccer and band (all through the year, not all at once). And we attend church twice a week. They don't have much down time though, so that's why I don't get mad about the iPods. 

countrymomma81
by Platinum Member on Sep. 28, 2013 at 1:36 PM
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Quoting mjimaging:

My kids are overly dependent on technology. We don't have Internet but they had iPods and iPads. DS recently has been playing with his toys more, which I'm happy about but we have been holding the iPad back from him. DD is much older and she loves her iPod but she also reads a lot. She doesn't really like to play and occasionally she does social things but she's kind of lazy. We are trying to work on getting we more active.

This is how both of my kids are. My 6 year old daughter doesn't even have toys in her room because she doesn't play with anything. She's either playing school with her tablet (a real tablet, not electronic one) or watching tv in the living room. She's hardly ever in her room because she doesn't like to be alone.  

DS is a little different. We host exchange students during the school year so he's got a constant companion in his room. They occupy one another so that neither of them are really alone. 

mumsy2three
by Shauna on Sep. 28, 2013 at 2:38 PM
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As my kids get older (they are 19, 11 and 8) they definitely prefer video games and the computer to playing outside but they still play. They still have friends over and go over to friend's houses to play too but they don't go outside as much as they used to (unless I kick them all out of the house for some fresh air, lol).

mcginnisc
by Bronze Member on Sep. 28, 2013 at 4:03 PM
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My girls don't have that kind of technology. We don't allow tvs in the bedrooms ( we don't even have one), neither have ipods( we loathe apple products), neither have a tablet( although, my oldest is getting a Nook Tablet from my ILs for Christmas), and they play with each other as well as have extra curricular activities and Church. 

They rarely play the KInect, and my oldest has a DS, but reads more than plays on it... my youngest is the gamer. That girl would play on my DS, or my phone all the time. I seriously limit her time on electronics. 

Claire


" I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." Philippians 4:13 

Sophie1106
by Paula on Sep. 28, 2013 at 7:28 PM

My ds is 3 and my dd is 6. They're still pretty young so they don't use many electronics. We only have one tv in the house, the one in the family room. Dd has a leap pad that she got a couple years ago but she doesn't play it much because she says it's boring. She's started asking for a tablet or a ds but I'm going to try to hold off on it for another year. We have a Wii but that hardly gets played. Dd likes to play computer games on the disney junior website so I let her every so often. Usually just half hour at a time. Ds likes to play games on my phone and can actually navigate it really well. But I don't let him touch it too much. Mostly my kids like to play. They play with their toys or make up games to play with each other. We go outside pretty often. And they like to play with the girl who lives next door or other friends. I'm sure as they get older they will want more and more electronics but for now it's not really an issue.

alexsmomaubrys2
by Bronze Member on Sep. 28, 2013 at 7:31 PM

My kids have to earn their computer time and they get 25 minutes a day during the week and an hour on the weekends. 

I don't feel that it robs them of their childhoods, they are just growing up in a different generation than we did. DH and I enjoy technology, so it would by hypocritical to not let them enjoy it too. 

blessedmom1978
by Bronze Member on Sep. 28, 2013 at 8:05 PM

Yes. My kids are always on the computer or Ipods. When my DD has a friend over they are both sitting on their cell phones and don't even talk to each other. It's sad!

Jaysmommy32
by on Sep. 28, 2013 at 8:11 PM
It could be the fact that they have unlimited use of these devices that's the problem.

My son is 1 and we honestly DO NOT watch TV at all. He plays, he explores and when the tv is on he has no interest in it.

My niece is 7 and my nephews are 5 and 3 and they have an ipad and a few gaming systems but they rarely use them. They are the kids who come home drop their backpacks off and are outside playing and I love that about them.

Maybe you could put some restrictions on how much technology they are being exposed to on a daily basis.
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