Updated: Jul 1, 2021
I have been thinking a lot lately, which has resulted in very long, often painful conversations with my husband. Conversations that leave us in tears as we contemplate how to move forward. We have been struggling with a lot. City noise, construction, the pandemic, school, urban life, our children growing up all too soon and mostly, we have been writhing over technology. We have been thinking and talking and and avoiding. No doubt, I have been feeling ill.
You see, this is the thing. I believe technology has a place in our lives, but that place should be very small. It is very clear to me that we have overstepped that place. We, as parents, believe our children's ideal is in nature. Playing, exploring, getting dirty, petting the animals, learning and discovering. We believe that they should breathe the air, feel the wind, touch the dirt, embrace the bugs and ignite their senses, all of their senses. We want that for them and we know that the moment we give into the handy, we will have lost a piece of them, which is not to say that we do not allow our children to game. We do, but we select the games, their time is limited and they are not provided with unlimited access. Fee feel that by not providing limitations, we might just be opening Pandora's Box, a lesson we have learned, but have all too soon forgotten. We don't want to open that box.
In a bold and perhaps even controversial statement: I DO NOT believe technology is the answer. I do not believe that robots should become the new teachers. I believe there is something to be said for human contact, for touch and human voices. I believe we are losing a bit of our humanity and that leaves me not only troubled, but fearful. That loss of our connection to the natural world and our own humanity, prevents me from sleeping at night. It propels me to creep into my children's room at night and watch them sleep, innocently rest and in those moments I wish I could transport them to simpler times away from the chaos of our everyday lives.
And so, we as parents are faced with a decision. Follow the masses or forge our own path. Provide our children with phones and games and watch as they become further disconnected from us and perhaps, saddest of all from themselves.
Disconnected from nature.
Disconnected from human interaction.
Observe as they retreat to their rooms - alone, creating a world that is solitary, all the while believing they are establishing meaningful connection. We do not wish to ostracize our children or make them feel different, but we as their parents must also learn to draw the line and preserve what we value.
Our values don't include endless device use just to fit in.
We believe there is a better way.
There has to be a better way.
And thus, we are at a crossroads and that might just mean a drastic rebuild. A deep look into how to navigate parenting in the 21st century. Gathering around the table and discovering what we collectively value and how we want to spend the years we have left with our children while they are still living in our home. When I think of all that we can create, build, explore and experience as a family, nothing in me believes full emergence in technology is the answer.
Rather, I want to fall deeper into the outdoors with my children creating memories and lessons that will transcend time. And with that said, perhaps the decision has already been made.