Growing up in the Electronic Age

Virtual world kids

Growing up in the Midwest, I spent a great deal of my time playing outside and using my imagination to create the virtual world I played in. I could turn a cardboard box into a castle and a soccer ball into the royal treasure and spend all day with my friends battling it out for supremacy.

Now that I am raising a smart, young lady, I am constantly bewildered by how obsessed she seems to be with her tablet these days. We recently had a sleep over with the BFF and after that dreaded silence came over the house, I ventured down the hall in search of what I anticipated would be the finger painting of my Van-Go or shaving my newest mink coat. Instead of the disaster I was expecting, to my horror, I find the duo sitting silently, both with an electronic device in hand. I was torn! They were behaving themselves but at what cost. I remember growing up, playing in the street and running until the sun went down, wreaking havoc where ever possible.

These girls were so engrossed in the tablets, they weren’t even talking to each other. The built in babysitter works miracles but I wonder if they are missing out on a big part of growing up. Social interaction! I made a decision and had them put down the screens and engage with one another in a more conventional, traditional way. What better way to build social skills than to play a great board game that revolves around real estate investments and making deals to rule the world! OK, so maybe I moved them from one game to another, but at least this one made them communicate and the joyful sound of children’s laughter filled my house.

I think as parents we need to stop and take a closer look at the screen and make some decisions for our children. Decisions that will get them up and moving. Let’s get our kids out of the virtual world and back in the real world!

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