According to my 4th grader, we are the only parents who don’t let their kids have their own phones, iTouches or tablets. When he asks why, my answer is constant:
Kids everywhere are experiencing life with their heads down. They are missing the best parts of living while locked into a screen. I would hate for my boys to know the inner workings of their cyber world and miss the wonder and beauty of the physical world.
We have long Saturdays with endless games and countless errands to run. It would be infinitely easier for me to stick a device in each child’s hand and let them zone, leaving me in peace. But then they would miss cheering for each other, finding bugs with their toddler brother, fighting and learning to resolve conflict, driving me absolutely crazy, making new friends on the sidelines, eating old popcorn under the bleachers, getting too hot to wear a sweatshirt, crossing the monkey bars, learning about the cost of food and healthy choices, and being introduced to 90’s rock.
They miss childhood! Is a little peace and quiet for me enough to justify them losing out on these chances for growing relationships and real life goodness?
At 8, 9 and 11, my kids like who they are. They have good friends that are kind. They see themselves as interesting, smart and fun. I would hate that outlook to change because of their number of “followers” or “likes.” I have no desire for my kids to see pictures of a party they weren’t invited to or read snide comments about the braces they have to wear or wonder why more people didn’t wish them a happy birthday.
Being young and innocent doesn’t last long and surely this will change at some point, but I will not be the one responsible for hurrying it. I want them to be able to be their authentic self for as long as possible and enjoy a small sliver of time without worrying about constant social approval. It will happen soon enough, I understand that it will, but for now, I want them to put their energy into living their own life, not wishing they had someone else’s.
I want my boys to be conversant and interested in more than Clash of the Clans and FIFA. I’d like them to chat about real world problems and actually play soccer with their feet not just their fingers. I want them to read books, not status updates and pose for goofy pictures without worrying about who might see them.And so my answer, for now, remains the same. Why didn’t they all get phones for Christmas? Simply put, Because I love them too much.
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Love this. And you! I miss our parenting talks (Our kids were so young- that was the easy stuff!!). Honestly, I have always loved the way you think about raising children.
The story of my life!! You have to be the worst mom #2 because I already have the #1 spot filled!! Love your article!!!
So glad to know I am in good company ;).
Thanks for the comment Ash. What a compliment coming from you! Miss you!
You don't know me, I am Elizabeth Downie's sister Heather. I happened to see the title of your blog and thought it would be good read since I am dealing with the same question from my 10 year old daughter (I also have an 8 year old boy and 6 year old girl). I wanted to say thanks for this post. I agree with every word you wrote. It's nice to know I'm not the only one who feels this way. It seems like every time I turn around another of my kids friends has a phone. It's ridiculous. Drives me crazy. Thanks again.
Amen to all you said! Such cute littles!
Oh yes you nailed it!!! I just had this discussion with my sister about her 12 year old daughter. Still too young in my eyes.
Hi Heather. First of all, I think Elizabeth is the greatest! One of the funniest women I know! Thanks for commenting and sharing your thoughts with me. It is so nice to know that there are other like minded mothers out there!
Thanks RicAnn. I agree with you! Ready to meet for lunch!
Great, thanks for sharing this blog article.Really thank you! Want more.