We live in a world where computers are taking over our everyday medial tasks, leaving millennial parents like myself to decide how much time is appropriate for our children to spend on a computer? Too much, and they become zombies, glued to the computer, scared of the outdoors. Too little and they may not be up to par when they get into university, and what if they want those tech careers?
My oldest son “H” the apple that did not fall far from the tree, loves to program on sites such as code.org, he plays math games on Prodigy and like many others his age, he is addicted to Minecraft. We have spent so much time trying to figure out how to balance him. Ask him what he wants to be when he grows up and he replies a software engineer. So If I do not allow him any “tech time” then how is he supposed to gain the skills he requires later on in life?
The questions are endless with “if” and “maybe” however we have found the balance that works well for our family. Our answer to this was “Chores,” “Organized Sport” and “Schedule.”
Chores and Personal tasks
We have given a list of tasks that must be completed before “tech time” is allowed. Simply by making sure that his room and personal space is clean, and that he does the few chores he has daily, (Feed the dog, pack/unpack the dishwasher, often help with laundry) he can earn time to spend on his computer or to watch television. Additional chores can earn you additional time on your computer.
When it comes down to it, cleaning your room, reading, and spending 30 minutes playing outside with the dog, are not chores, they are personal tasks. We have taught both our boys that maintaining after yourself is for the betterment of yourself, therefore you do not get additional time for those tasks, however you won’t get any time at all if those tasks are not complete.
To keep both my boys active and allow them to have a healthy lifestyle they are enrolled in sports, they spent the winter in skiing lessons every Sunday, And the summers they will spend in a martial art or soccer.
The big one we have is “NO computer during week nights” Sunday evening to Thursday evening we stick to our schedule, there is no computer. They may watch a 30 minute show with us here and there on a week night, but for the most part we try to stay *”tech free” during school nights. During the summer and holidays we have different rules, but we still limit computer and tech such as nintendo and television.
I will upload and link our schedule as soon as I have time, as well as our chore and personal task list.
What are your thoughts on raising Tech Junkies? Do you have a few in your home? if so how do you moderate them?
Let me know and I may feature your answer.
Technology is a useful servant but a dangerous master. Christian Lous Lange