My boyfriend, my roomate, and I were talking recently about raising kids in an age of technology. We all had similar upbringings with technology, with one desktop computer to share with the family, and cell phones were only becoming really popular when we were finishing up High School. My family’s rules were that we couldn’t have our own laptops until we were graduated from High School and accepted into Post-Secondary. As well, I wasn’t allowed to have a cell phone until my graduation ceremony. This was a common occurrence with all the people I grew up with. The majority of what we spent our time with on our cell phones or the internet was chatting with the same people we saw all day at school.
Today however, we depend on technology for banking, shopping, communication, research, schooling, video games, online dating, etc. How will this affect the way we raise OUR kids? I find it interesting to think that we’ve never had to worry about losing touch with people we grew up with. We have the chance to contact anyone in the world with a touch of a finger. Our parents unfortunately (or some might say fortunately), didn’t have this opportunity.
Since moving away from home, I can already see the drastic change with technology in my family in the past 4 years. Now that I’m away from home, my main method of communication with my parents and 10 year old brother is…..technology! Yes, we text, email, instant message, and skype. My youngest brother has been teaching my parents things about technology since he’s started elementary. I think that that is amazing how much he has grown up with technology-wise compared to myself and my older siblings.
I am positive that I’m not alone in thinking that the way we were raised with technology is going to or already has (for those of you who are parents) affect the way we will be parenting. The amount of gadgets, the time we will allow them to use their gadgets, how much supervision we will do, and so on….will all be things we ponder on as technology steadily has a bigger place in our lives. I think that it’ll be easier for our generation (university age students) to have a comfortable integration of technology in parenting, but those parents who haven’t experienced technology, will have a more difficult time seeing the positives of technology. My Dad is farrrrrr from being tech-savy, so he assumes that if we are on our computers or cell phones, that we are playing useless games. It’s too bad that the older generations didn’t have the chance to learn about technology like we do. I found a list of tips and guidelines to help parents understand what their children could be doing with technology.
I’m looking for feedback from parents and non-parents. Do you have guidelines, or hesitations when it comes to raising your kids with technology? Do you have memories of growing up with or without technology and how that affected you?