Well, I by no means have won the battle or the war on finding balance with technology knowledge and use and the good ol’ hands on learning and doing.
I was raised with far less electronic influence than even my husband (who is only 9 months older than I) was. I loved playing on my own and with friends and must confess.. I played with my Barbies until I was 13 or 14. They were like family to me, I would take them on exciting vacations and still have many of their “family portraits”! I don’t recall ever building them a command center or even having them watch tv or play on the computer, or even call each other! Why? My imagination was BIG and I didn’t need that influence of techie worlds. We did finally get a computer at home when I was probably between 12 and 14 and I remember playing two games on it, well three, Pac-Man, a winter olympics game where I loved to do the figure skating part, and Frogger! This is how much of a relational person I am though… I would get the church directory and a pencil out and pretend each little froggie I got to the other side was a member in that directory and cheer them on by name, making sure to check them off as well so I would know where to start again when I walked away. Ha!
Now, our children had this morning off of school because it was their Daddy’s birthday and he had to be at work by 1:00. We’ll start school between 1:30 and 2:00 once I get the little one down for her nap. What are they doing for this 30 minutes of downtime? My 4-year-old is playing Uno on an iPod, and my 6-year-old was playing a racing game on the other iPod, but is now watching his big brother play Mario on the DS. My youngest is pretending with an old cell phone, her purse and her baby stroller. 😉
My husband LOVES all these techie toys and has to talk me into each of them, which doesn’t take much since I am so thankful for him being such a wonderful provider for us that I can stay home with the children in the first place! Just give me a laptop and a phone and I’m pretty well set.
Sometimes I want to pack all of it up and stick it on the front porch! My struggle lies in the balance of this being where the world is right now, and not wanting our children inept citizens of the future that will be even more controlled by technology and that of desiring their imaginations to be their own, and vivid! Not all learning and creativity is at a flash bang pace, some are plain tedious, but it is still so important, and that seems to be a struggle for them to grasp.
So daily we pray, we read, we practice our writing (that archaic thing that came before typing), and we learn with books – some of which are even e-books now. And the daily balancing act continues between their desires and tendencies toward gaming and tv time and our desires for intelligent, imaginative and communicative children. Baby steps, deep breaths, and LOTS of prayer is what this momma needs in the midst of pings and flashy background music.
It’s also winter, so I keep that in mind as I vent, there isn’t any snow for them to play in, it’s just wet and cold and windy. Things will mellow out when the weather is more agreeable… this is my hope and prayer for them at least.