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How many parents today feel the same as I do about how easy our kids have it today? Really, it’s incredible. Between the Cell phones, Computers, Texting, Facebook and other Social media networks, our children have become too dependent on technology.
Sure, I remember growing up there was Atari… and think that was the one main technology thing that kids went crazy for. You either owned one or you spent a lot of time at a friend’s house who had one. Today, you cannot have just one gaming system.
How many of your kids have at least “2” of the following: iPod, iPad, Mac Laptop/Notebook, Desktop Computer, Wii, Playstation 2, 3 and or handheld, Gameboy, Xbox, Cube, etc. etc. and ETC. PLUS probably a cell phone with internet access. Then you have each game that costs the average of $60 each and other costs factors for each of these items like accessories that we are told they need. I’m going crazy to just keep up with my kids. Who knew that it seems that they can never have too much?
Thank goodness for GameStop. I became a Power Rewards Member there and it has been worth it. You can return old games, gaming systems or accessories and you can at least get something of value back from them. That is not to say they give you top dollar unless that game you’re returning is still in High Demand. Sometimes if you know you can get more, place the item for bids on EBay or other Bid sites. You can also buy used games at Game Stop. Games would be a couple of dollars to half or more off of a more recent game. You can sometimes try and sway your kid from buying that $60 game and pick up a couple of used games that would keep them occupied. You may not always succeed because I always hear “But Dad, everyone has this with the bonus pack and are online playing it”, but it’s worth a shot.
Then we have our kids in somewhat of a trans with texting and social media. I don’t know, I can say I also have been texting and using Facebook and other Social Media’s but somewhere in the transition, our kids seem to be living via texting 23 hours a day. Do you notice even if you are a room away in the same house, our children may text us instead of coming to us to talk about something? I guess it is the in thing to do. Everybody is doing it. I will tell my daughter when she goes out with her friends to “call me when you’re ready and I’ll come pick you up” and I get from her “K, Bi.”
The following seems to be the usual routine during pickup time:
Daughter Txt: COME IN 5 MINUTES
My TXT: OK, WILL BE THERE IN 5 MINUTES
5 SECONDS LATER…..
Daughter Txt: COME!! WHERE ARE YOU!!
My TXT: OK, LEAVING NOW
5 SECONDS LATER, WITH BACK TO BACK TXT’S….
Daughter Txt: HURRY!!!
Daughter Txt: R U ALMOST HERE??
At this point, I’m driving and I really do not want to txt while driving so I wait until I’m at a red light and txt quickly
My TXT: YES, PLEASE WAIT.
Daughter Txt: K BI
Phew, glad that is over with. When I try to call her before I left the house to verify, I get her voicemail stating it is full. She never cleans out her voicemails which drives me nuts. When I texted her to call me back, most of the times I get a text back stating “My battery is dying”. Now I know a few of you if not most of you know what I’m talking about. But we as parents put up with it.
Then we have the Facebook, Tumbler and Twitter craze. Either on a laptop, desktop, or handheld, they always seem to be posting, replying or following their friend’s status, if they are not in the middle of texting that is. I guess that we as parents are to blame. One, for wanting to give them everything we never had. Two, for not standing behind our “NO’s!”. Some do, some don’t but I usually at the end give in, but not always. What can I say? Three, so our kids do not feel embarrassed by their friends of not having that means of communications and last, we also do not want them to fall behind in the tech world as it is changing on a daily basis and would help them in the future by staying on top of technology.
Another fun thing our kids are getting involved with is sleep away camps in the summer. I have no problem with this and wished my parents thought of doing this for me when I was a kid. This to me is a good way to make new friends and learn about responsibility. My daughter who is going to be 15 in the matter of days has been going the last 3 years. First year for one week and the last 2 years for 2 straight weeks. She Loves It!!! She goes with her best friend every year and with some girls from school. Now that this year was her last year as a camper because she will be considered too old for this camp, she wants to become a Camp Counselor but first has to be accepted and start out as a CIT (Counselor In Training). My son, who is currently 11 yrs. old will be going to this camp next year for his first time. I’m sure that will be fun to have them both at camp at the same time…..
One of the most important things we have to be aware while our kids are growing up during these times is to make sure they eat healthy, get enough exercise and stay in shape. Get them involved with sports like Soccer, Baseball, Football, Lacrosse or any other sport that will keep them busy and moving, not stuck in front of a gaming system, computer or Internet enabled phone most of the day.
As kids get older, there mindset change for the better. They know that hygiene is important, getting enough sleep at night by not staying up too late watching TV or being on the Internet and even the choice of clothes to wear. My son never liked wearing anything but a T-Shirt and shorts. He never liked wearing jeans, just maybe sweatpants. This year, he will be going to middle school for 6th grade. I think now also that his mind set changes on his view of things, such as girls, it also has changed his view of clothing and presenting yourself. We went shopping last weekend and for the first time, he said he wanted to buy jeans. On his own! Without his mom or dad forcing him to. I think he is getting to the age that he also wants to impress the young ladies and dress appropriately during the winter. I cannot help but to chuckle, I knew one day he would get older and his mentality would start maturing.
We have to keep an eye on our kids and insure we help them make the best choices. It is hard, especially when they hit the “TEEN” years. They think they know it all and have all the answers already. They do not want to be bothered and just want to do whatever they want. We all have been through that and can understand that those years are the hardest to deal with various situations. From what I see in today’s “TEENS” is that they may have just a little too much freedom for comfort and we need to insure to try to keep them safe, on the right path and hope that they grow up and become a productive member of the community.
Last note I will make on this blog because this just happened today, I was driving my daughter back from someplace and had the radio on a station she listens to often and is popular with the Teen community. There was a song called You Can Blow My Whistle. The words in the song, I could not believe what I was hearing and was embarrased listening to with my 15 yr. old daughter next to me. I usually just change the channel when something like this happens. As I’m sure you can probably figure it out from the song title what it was in reference to, an explicit sexual act! This is not the only song that I feel is not appropriate for young teenagers or even anyone under 18. The words literally blew me away! This is not limited to the music our kids may hear; some of the TV shows like on MTV are outrages! Is anyone actually broadcasting these types of music or show’s ever think about what age audience would be exposed to this? I cannot believe what our kids are exposed to today to what I had growing up. But kids do not know any better. They are still young, trying to fit in with their friends. They hear their friends talk about a show or sing a song and they think it is ok.
Bottom line Parents, Please be aware of what your kids are exposed to and explain to them why a song, show or anything explicit on the Internet is inappropriate for them. Some kids will listen and try to avoid these and some will not but as Parents, we need to try. Unfortunately, with stuff like this being exposed on public radio, TV or the Internet to our kids today only scares me to think of what they will hear and see when they get older and have kids and what they would be exposed to…