With our digital world we surround our children with adult activity that tends to be paperless. They only see adults who use smart phones and gadgets for everything – so kids no longer see the example of parents reading a variety of publications, writing on a calendar, taking notes in a planner, or putting messages on a family bulletin board. What we ask them to do is no longer modeled in the home, so they have no example to follow. This may not be the case at your house, but what I have found is that children who slop through their schoolwork need to see an example.
So that is why we developed the Mom-Schooling books – so kids growing up in a digital world will see something real.
When my children were young, I didn’t use a small personal device. I wanted my children to always be able to see what I am doing. When I had a smart phone I could have been reading the Bible and my kids would assume I was playing Tetris! I could be photo editing and they would assume I was just wasting time on stupid videos. All they see is a mom on a smartphone ignoring them, in her own personal world. I have gone back to reading real paperback books too, I want my kids to see me reading. I have gone back to using a real camera, I want my kids to know I am enjoying my hobby and making memories, not just playing around with my phone. My husband also stopped using a smart phone for the same reasons. We even chose to travel to 15 countries all over Europe last year with no smartphone, and no GPS so the kids would learn about maps and how to write things down- things like train schedules. We put down the phone and picked up trail maps and bus schedules just to be an example to the kids of the real things that we are really doing in life. We even bought watches!
I loved all the fun and cool things that can be done with those little devices but all I was teaching my kids was how to be a mom focused on a device.
I think we just need to be aware and be careful when we expect kids to use paper and books, but we don’t use those things too. I know that many of you are rediscovering the joy of coloring, journaling and using real books. If you do choose to use a device I would just encourage you to talk to your kids ALL the time about what you are doing. If you are on Facebook, tell them I’m talking to Aunt Linda, or I am sharing a picture of you with my friends, and I just found out that Leslie is going to have a new baby, or ask them to pray for Rosie, because her grandma died. If you are editing photos, videos, writing a blog, or publishing books – include your children in these wonderful creative activities, and snuggle them close so they can see the tiny pictures on your smart phone too. If you need to be on a device, include them.
Your kids have electronics out of balance? Read here: Sarah’s Mom TIps: Digital Devices