I heard a statement this morning that hit me so hard. A father said, “We changed our family values for technology without realizing it.” WOW! This unintentional change had a huge impact on their children’s future. And yet, as parents, they felt they were doing the right thing.
I thought about how many parents believe that spending time with a child simply means playing a video game together where conversation is minimal. Perhaps it is true that you are sitting beside one another, but is that really interacting? Parents and children text each other, but is that communication? We get our pre-teens phones because we want to keep them safe, but then we often choose technology over personal communication to stay connected.
Technology even allows us to feel connected as we travel, but are we really connecting if we are not there to tuck them in and give them a kiss good night? How much time away is too much? Does technology cause us to do things we would not have considered before?
I am a very busy person who has embraced technology, and I do believe that it allows us to stay connected in ways that were not available in the past. However, I wonder how many of us would be brave enough to truly look at how we have allowed technology to alter our values regarding how we interact with our family? Are we living out our family values or have they been adversely affected without us even being aware of the subtle changes?
Your children have only one childhood. You have only one opportunity to hug, squeeze, and laugh out loud with them. There is NOTHING that replaces eye contact and the warm feeling of being totally present with your child. You can accomplish this only when you shut out all of the other noises of life. It is impossible to be totally present with your child and answer an email, a text, or talk on the phone every few minutes. It is impossible to really “hear” your child unless you are creating an environment where your child can open up and express his emotions and feelings. This takes time and effort. In this age of living with the speed of technology, our children do not always respond in the 15 minutes we have allotted them. We must do whatever it takes to MAKE THE TIME and not allow anything to rob us of our family values.
My challenge is that we all stop, look, and listen. Are we in control or have we allowed something from the outside to control us? Our children deserve our very best, and often we must “course-correct.” Our family is worth it!