Thursday, November 7, 2013

Why we WON'T allow our children to play on computers (or any other electronic device)

In this day and age of computers it may sound weird that we don't allow our children to play on computers, or with any electronic device really. It sounds even weirder considering that is what my husband's profession is- selling hundreds of thousands of computers to people across the globe. In our house we have 3 laptops, 3 main PCs (1 is attached to the TV so we can watch shows off of the internet, and keep our media library stored there), 2 Galaxy Nexus phones, Kindles, etc. You would think that with all this technology that we would allow our children to play on them. My husband has even been asked by his brother why we are delaying the introduction to computers, and not starting now. I mean, according to everyone who asks us, the sooner we start the better, right? Wrong.

I've heard the stories about how kids as young as 18 months can navigate around their parents' phones, find things that the parents didn't even know existed, and that bothers me. I mean at 18 months, shouldn't you be working on your ABCs with your child, to give them a head start, instead of just handing your phone over to them to be entertained? I realize that there are different circumstances to every situation, and I'm not talking about the parents who hand over their phones to their kids, so that they can play a kid game, while on an 8 hour car trip. I can understand that, and there have been times where I've handed my phone (wrapped in an Otter Box) to my child who has done everything that they want in the car, and we still have hours left to drive. No, I'm talking about those kids who have the child sized video game systems, who have access to the family computer, and play on it. Those are the parents I have a problem with.

Our kids love to play, and play a LOT! They run, leap, jump, and love to make up games. They play so much that all of my children have these 6 packs, for abs! The thing is if we allowed them to have access to computers, would they be as interested in their made up games, or prefer to zone out in front of the computer, and play games? Maybe, but then again maybe not. I, however, am not going to take that chance. I know how obsessed with things my children get. Jackasaurus seems to get obsessed with a new thing every 3 months; right now it's Legos. I would rather he play with Legos, then play one of those games like Minecraft. Don't even get me started about how dumb I think that game is (it's a glorified version of Legos, but on a PC game, for those who didn't know.).

The thing is my children will learn to use a computer, and probably play games on them someday. My children aren't completely without the use of technology; Jackasaurus does all his schoolwork on a laptop/ tablet. He does know how to get where he needs to go, but that's as far as it goes. I realize that in this technological age I can't keep them from computers, nor do I wish to, but I do want them to realize that they are just tools- there to make your life easier and faster. So for now, my 5 1/2, 4, and 2 year old will not be using computers for personal enjoyment. My husband has set those rules, and refuses to teach them how to work a computer until they are big enough to help fix a computer. He doesn't just want them to learn how to use a computer, but learn how it works and that's fine with me.

For now we are content to just play with real Legos with our children, instead of playing some ridiculous computer game, and make real memories. My children are learning to problem solve, build complex buildings out of real blocks, and they have the best thing with them- their parents giving their undivided attention and teaching them. Children need physical and mental stimulation to thrive and grow. They will only get that with plenty of learning, exercise, and family time- not spent on the computer. And that's why we won't allow our children to play on a computer!

Until Next Time,

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