Blessing in Creation!

Blessing in Creation!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Technology Free Teen???

In my earlier blog, Press On or Stress On, I discussed how trying to provide our kids with every opportunity can sometimes lead to overload and stress instead of enriching and enhancing their lives. Finding the balance between motivating and challenging kids to succeed and allowing them to enjoy their childhood can be a delicate balance. We want them to learn and become proficient at computers and technology to survive in this technologically advanced society of ours. So we buy them the latest games and digital appliances. Dr. Archibald Hart, however, suggests that technology has actually made our lives more complicated rather than simpler. His premise is that kids have learned to rely on electronics for work and play and are losing the ability to find creative outlets for expression.

Calculators, for example have taken away our basic ability to calculate. Even my husband now automatically reaches for the calculator for even the simplest math problems. IPods and Mp3 players have taken place of listening to the sounds of nature on hikes and reduced the need for good old fashioned conversations. With the latest movies at our fingertips, there is no anticipation of special outings to the movie theatre. Why call a friend up for a tennis match when the Wii is within reach? Dr. Hart asserts that kids today face boredom when they do not know what to do without the technological stimulation. Without the Wii, IPod, and DVD player, kids are at a loss of what to do because they have lost the ability to create fun out of the mundane.

This became evident to me yesterday as my nearly 13 year old complained of boredom. Not liking my suggestion of going outside during our only rain free day in weeks, she replied that there was nothing to do outside. She wanted the computer or the TV and pleaded for us to purchase a Wii. She frowned at my suggestions of taking a walk with the dog, reading, visiting our horse, or even picking flowers. With the option of extra chores, she begrudgingly went outside and eventually busied herself with the horse and then other things.

Today I did not make the suggestion of outside play, but I was quite pleased when I looked out the window and saw her on the swing. A little while later I saw her with the horse, and then I discovered her in a tree. Soon she came in for her homework and took it outside to read, stating she had better spend some more time outside before the rain comes back!

It may take a little discipline and a lot of coaxing, but simple creativity can be regained. I will not feel the least bit guilty limiting the use of technology this summer!

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