In an article in the New York Times titled “If Your Kids are Awake, They’re Probably Online”, shocking statistics of kids usage of electronics comes to light. This doesn’t pertain to my kids, although I suppose it’s not that much of a stretch, apparently kids between the ages of 8 and 18 years old spend an average of 7.5 hours a day using some sort of electronic device.
I have to admit that my 11 year old son got a game for his Xbox and I let him go crazy and he played it all day, way more than 7.5 hours. And there is a chance he played on his iPod that day, and possibly spent a bit of time on the computer. But… NO TV!!
I’ve spent the past almost 10 years bragging how we haven’t had satellite or cable television in our house. Granted, we’ve had a dvd player hooked up to a little tv and now the xbox, but for the most part our house has been tv-free. All bragging aside, it just means that my kids have spent more time on the computer, which is situated in our living room, than perhaps other kids who would otherwise be watching tv.
My children always ask if they can use the computer. They seem to get away without asking to use their hand held electronics, but I do put a limit on it and I think my kids have a healthy blend of spending time outside, playing with their friends, reading, extracurricular activities, etc. At 9 and 12, my boys are quite inclined to want to play with technology and would more than they do if I let them.
The adoption rate of technology at this point in our lives is incredible. Never before has technology been more ubiquitious than it is now. Almost everyone has stories about children and the incredible way that they embrace technology and have adopted digital habits.
The Net Generation and the iGeneration are kids who have grown up with computers and the internet, texting, iPads, iPhones, gaming and a whole new way of communication. The social implications of this are immense as well as the educational aspects are overwhelming to most parents.
On Wednesday, October 5th at the Town Hall in Stratford beginning at 7pm, I’m offering a few best practices and ideas for bridgeing the gap between parents and kids on technology. I’ve written, researched and taught on the subject and you can find some of my background on the subject by clicking here. We’re hoping for discussion and ideas from parents. Come on out!