Great to have Dr Johan Kriek on the Brekkie Boost this morning, chatting about the importance of mouth guards. If you missed it you can have a listen here!
By: Clare Bruce
When school starts up for a new year, it’s not long before kids approach their mums or dads asking if they can have play dates and sleepovers with their newfound friends.
By: Linda Lou
If you ever have trouble getting your kids to help out at home, you might be surprised by what you read next. Of 180,000 Australians students surveyed by Resilient Youth, 90% actually want to contribute to society.
It seems nowadays that kids expect to be entertained every waking moment. And maybe we’ve done it to ourselves? With TV, iPads, video games, fidget spinners and the likes, it’s understandable that kids have this desire. When we look back on our own lives growing up, there are memories of riding bikes till the street lights came on or your parents telling you find something to do.
It’s time that we teach our kids how to succeed in boredom! Here’s a nifty little visual that breaks down boredom and gives practical things to do.
If your looking for other creative ways to make the most out of down time and school holidays check out the original blog post from Maxabella Loves
I was scrolling through my Facebook feed, and stopped at the question – “We are thinking of getting our kids an iPad mini or other device for Christmas. What do you recommend?”
While we are a fairly frugal family and definitely not in the season of buying a round of iPads for our kids, I still like to stay on top of the trending options when it comes to kids, including technology, so I clicked “Comments” and started reading.
Slowly, my jaw began descending downward to the floor as I read the comments. “Each of our kids have both an iPad and an iPad mini. They’re great!” “Our kids have an iPad and a mini and an iPhone – different devices for different things.” The amount of children who had not one, but two or even three devices of their own was astonishing. Clearly, I had fallen behind on the trends and my naivety gave way to shock!
“Our poor, deprived children!” I laughed to my husband, thinking of our one, first generation iPad that has served our entire family well over half a decade, “One old iPad that they don’t even get to use regularly!”
My thoughts vacillated between pride that we had avoided some deep pit of technology and excess and fear that if my kids didn’t hop on the bandwagon quickly, they’d be set back for life.
Fear and pride. Two parenting vulnerabilities I’ve been ashamed of more than once.
Let’s face it. The technology discussion is not going away any time soon. And the with different gifting in our children, varying family environments, circumstances and seasons, there will never be a one size fits all solution. So how do we find our happy place when it comes to screens and technology and our children?
Experts have laid out institutional guidelines and statistics that drive their recommendations. But the real question we’re asking is not what device should I buy my children, how much time should they be on it or even what should they be allowed to use it for?
The real question is – what are our family beliefs and values and how do they define our practices and actions as a family?
With that in mind, here are some questions I’m asking myself to guide our decisions in this area.
Questions for me:
- Is pride or fear playing a part in my decision making?
Am I feeling like my decisions or rules define me as a person? Am I walking in humility? Do I feel embarrassed if people know how much or little my kids use their screens? Am I worried about the future? Do I feel like I’m better than someone else because of my decisions? Am I comparing myself or my kids to others?
- Am I being intentional or abdicating my responsibility?
Am I using screen time to avoid my kids? What am I doing to add value to my kids? How am I being intentional in our relationships and in my leadership?
- What habits am I modelling?
Am I using the screen to avoid my kids? Am I using it to self medicate instead of seeking other ways to feed my soul? How would I feel if my child was using their phone as I am? Am I setting the example I want my kids to follow?
Questions about my child?
- How is my child’s overall health and wellbeing?
Does s/he need to be outside more? Reading more? Active more? How’s their attitude?
- How is my child’s maturity when it comes to the vulnerabilities online?
Does s/he know what to do if something inappropriate comes up? Does s/he talk to me about the little things in life? Does s/he have honesty? Is my child using a device that has protections in place? Am I aware of what websites and spaces my child is using? Do we have clear expectations about privacy within our family?
- Is this bringing my child life and growth?
I hope that these questions help you diminish fear and pride and empower you to love your kids well – screens and all. Now I’m gonna stop typing and go play with my kids.