I wish, god I wish, that I wasn’t parenting in the age of the online era. This shit is out of control and if you think it isn’t you are blind to the damage this is causing. We hate to see our kids missing out and we don’t want to isolate them from their peers but why has this “missing out” become about unrealistic “things” and by unrealistic I mean unreal, not real, made up, created, manufactured, pretend. But not in a healthy pretend play kind of way. This is a messy screwed up virtual world that I’m talking about.
There are some kids who have access to smartphones, iPads, laptops, social media, internet (or as us realistic parents call it – PORN) as often as they like. That is frightening. Truly fucking frightening. I know all kids are different and some can be completely trusted? Ok partially trusted? NO! Fuck that! They are kids! Kids are curious by nature. They are going to explore the online world and if you totally leave that exploration up to them they will find their way to things their young minds cannot process. So there is no trust! But it’s not even about trust. You are the parent – so monitor, assess, be vigilant and PARENT!
We have the right as adults, parenting adults, to join forces together and stop saying yes to every damn request our kids ask for! Start looking at the bigger picture, clear those rose coloured glasses and finally “adult” by using the N-word… NO. NO you can’t have a smartphone. NO you don’t need Snapchat. NO you cannot sit in your room with the door closed on your laptop. NO you cannot sleep with your device in your room. Be the bigger person – aka the ADULT!
This virtual world they live in is going to have huge future consequences to their lives. We know this already as cyber bullying, sexting and teen suicides have increased exponentially. It is children exposing children. This virtual world is addictive, we know that because we as adults are addicted to it! They are exposed way too young to understand how it affects their sleep, their thoughts, their reality, their mental health. It is a virtual world. It is not real. None of it.
We need to start encouraging our kids to pick up the phone and call their mates, hear their voice, understand their reactions. Encourage our kids friends to come hang at your house, kick the footy, go for a bike ride, build a cubby house. Encourage our kids to get outside, to get amongst it, in the real world, the fresh air, hang with the real people with real thoughts and feelings. Real smiles, real tears, no emoticons or abbreviated words they had to google initially to know what they meant.
Technology has its place but there is no place more important than the well being of our children. Stand up. Take notice. Our kids are the future.