Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Electronics and Kids: Are we introducing too much too soon?

(Disclaimer: I realize that this post may offend some, but believe me when I tell you that is not my intention; this is just my opinion.)

When I was a kid, we didn't have computers or cell phones or iPads.  We had video games, but I wasn't allowed to play them.  When I was a kid we played with toys, real toys, not electronics.  I realize that times are changing, but I think that we, as a nation, are trying to make our kids more like little adults rather than letting them be kids. 

I was in Wal-Mart the other day buying a Barbie for my daughter's birthday; she was turning six years old.  As I was standing there trying to remember which Barbies my two oldest daughters (the oldest one is 8) had already, a woman came strolling down the aisle and made the comment, "I wish I could still buy these things (meaning Barbies, dolls, basically toys) for my daughters.  They want an iPhone and an iPad for Christmas."  I gave her a very understanding smile because I assumed that her kids must be tweens or teenagers or older, and replied "I'll be sad when my kids get too old for these things.  How old are your kids?"  Her reply is what floored me: "They are 8 and 6."  I was speechless because those are the same age as my kids and I couldn't imagine buying them a bunch of electronics for Christmas.  When did kids stop being kids?  Mine are still kids, surely they cannot be the only ones left.

As I left Wal-Mart that day, I did a lot of thinking and a lot of questioning.  Not questioning myself, but questioning others as to what they were giving their kids or what their kids were wanting for Christmas.  The answers that I received were mixed.  Some kids were getting toys (I mean this as "non-electronics and technology"), but a lot were getting the afore mentioned iPhones and iPads.  Now, I do want to go on record as saying that both of my children have netbooks (little laptops) that they play their little girl games on (like Barbie.com and AmericalGirl.com and some educational games; I am not completely in the last century).  However, that being said, I do not think that my 3rd grader or kindergartener needs to have a cell phone to call me on when they are "out playing in the neighborhood."  First of all, my kids are not allowed to roam the neighborhood freely by themselves, have you watched the news?  Second of all, if my kids are at a friends house and they need to call me, they can pick up the phone at the house they are at and call me.  Third, why do my kids even need an iPad? 

To me it seems as if we are exposing our kids to too much of the world too soon because "it's cool."  Let the kids play and use their imagination instead of being glued to a screen; won't that happen soon enough when they grow up and have to go to work?  Take kids to appropriately rated movies and don't let them watch TV that is too old for them.  Shelter them for a little while because there will come a time when you won't be able to anymore.

6 comments:

  1. Hi, I am a new follower from the Calle Miami Blog hop. I love the content of your site and can relate...we are a family of 5 as well...its a constant struggle!
    Looking forward to following you! Please check me out @ http://wts2011.blogspot.com/

    Thank you
    Jo

    ReplyDelete
  2. Found you on bloggy mom, I look for wad to following your story. I hope you can return the follow http://www.rahkers.blogspot.com/

    ReplyDelete
  3. In my opinion I think that an 8 and 6 year old are waaayyy too young to be getting something like that!! My hubby and I have discussed this since our neice recieves such things for Christmas (she has 2 sets of very wealthy grandparents on her dads side) and our daughter is starting to ask for the same items. My opinion is that when they are old enough to earn their own money whether it's saving up allowance or babysitting they can choose to buy those type of things, I think kids take better care of stuff when it's thier own money used to buy it. When I was a teen I didn't even have a cell! My hubby bought me one when we were dating! lol. My brothers are now teens and spoiled brats!! And they don't take care of their stuff, they go through $100 shoes in a month and expect a new pair every time. That's just my opinion though =D

    ReplyDelete
  4. Hi, Audri! I'm glad that you stumbled across my blog from Bloggy Moms. We definitely have quite a bit in common. Everything you said in this article, I've been thinking the entire Christmas season. I have a three-year-old son, and I see the things some of his friends are being exposed to. Two- and three-year-old kids dancing to MTV and singing songs with words that even I don't say. I always think...what happened to trucks and dolls and ponies and things?

    Anyhoo...I'm enjoying your blog! Stop by anytime! =)

    Kisha
    http://rediscoveringthehome.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  5. I saw you on the linky list from Bloggy moms :) I couldn't agree more. My baby is just 8 months old but I do think that kids aren't really allowed to just be kids. To much internet and Ipod and texting and not enough tree climbing LOL.

    ReplyDelete
  6. I found you on Bloggy Moms and am now following your blog, FB, and Twitter. I am excited to read your posts :) Here is mine if you have time to check it out...
    www.modernbabble.com

    ReplyDelete

Please let me know what you think!