My First Rant!

Oh boy! I usually like to be a beacon of light and positivity, but there were two separate occurrences recently that had me wondering what the heck are people thinking?

I took some children to a nearby farm that had a fantastic playground. It was a place where in the fall you go to buy pumpkins, kettle corn, fresh cider, donuts and then enjoy your goodies at the picnic tables while the kids run around the vast playground. This farm is a child’s dream, with climbing structures, swings, a rock wall, an old tractor to pretend to drive and multiple slides.

I saw a young girl, maybe in the 8-11 age range sitting on the swing looking at her smartphone. Hmmm. An anomaly? But then I saw not one but two or three other children running at breakneck speed, laughing and having fun (as children should have) but also with their cell phones in their hands.

Why does an 8 to 12-year-old child need a cell phone to spend a half hour playing on swings and rock walls? How do you even climb with one hand? When they run and fall and break the $600. phone will mommy and daddy just buy them another?

The second incidence happened a few days later when my husband and I were leaving a restaurant. We saw a mother with her two young (maybe 5-9 age range) children eating at a booth. Each child had a set of headphones on and a tablet with a movie playing. What?! How will this generation learn to communicate face to face? How will they know what it feels like to be unplugged? When will they learn table manners and etiquette? Most of my absolute favorite memories and stories I tell are taken from moments where the family had dinner together or went on a trip together. Having your children at a restaurant plugged into anything but you cannot be considered “together”.

I implore that parents take a look at what media is doing to your children. Take the media away during dinner, outdoor time and playtime. Learn what is really in your children’s hearts and minds. Connect with them in a way that no iPhone or gadget will ever do. These children are yours for such a short time. Teach them well and you will leave a legacy that you will not regret.

6 thoughts on “My First Rant!

  1. I absolutely agree with you. My two young grandsons were visiting this summer, aged 13 and 5 and 1/2. Both of them only wanted to be plugged in for most of the time. Since I am only their grandmother, and not their mom, it was hard for me to be insistent that they stop with the plugged in stuff, and do some quality time. The five-year-old didn’t even want me to read to him, he wanted to go back to his tablet. Alas, this trend seems to be firmly ingrained in this new generation of parents and children, and I believe our pleas will fall on deaf ears, or at least ears firmly ensconced in headphones.

  2. Thanks for the reminder. When my kids were in their teens I saw the “creep” of cell phone use start to invade our table space. I politely instituted a no phone policy during dinner. It was easy. It just took a moment of consciousness. Thanks for the reminder.

  3. electronic babysitter. Plugged in children are well-behaved children, don’t you know? Its the new normal for getting them to shut up and be quiet so mommy can live her life. Sad as hell…

  4. Monkey see, monkey do… I can’t remember the last time I was at a business lunch, dinner, out with adult friends, etc… when phones weren’t priority, texts weren’t responded to… It’s not about the age a parent chooses to give their child a phone. People have different circumstances (divorce, etc.) for allowing that. As parents, we’re getting the same fulfillment from constantly having our phones with us and responding to everything at every time. We need to be better role models and show value for personal/private time.

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