In my last blog, I mentioned collecting the kid’s smart phones for some valuable family time. Since then, a new craze has taken over the minds of children and adults: Pokemon Go. Now, we’re a nation obsessed with this latest fad. Two of my co-workers tried to tell me that I should do it and I dismissed it because I don’t play online games. They continued, “But you get exercise because you do it while you’re walking!” “Do you know what I do?” I asked my manager. “I walk all the time!” Then, one morning I opened the store and two women from the next storefront were anxious to get in because they had to kill monsters in my lobby. I thought it was time to check this thing out.
What I discovered were grown adults peering into their phones with the same intensity as teenagers. They’re totally engaged at the expense of real-world adult oriented things. Okay, people are getting off the computer and getting outside to play this thing. They are walking more and maybe shedding a few pounds. I guess there are benefits to this fad.
But the stories I’ve heard about people walking out in front of cars, walking off a cliff, walking into other pedestrians, running over small children…you get it. It’s a little concerning and more so if it happens to you.
I know I’m supposed to cover raising children in the 21st century and I am. The question is, what kind of example are parents setting for their smart-phone wielding kids? Can a mom or dad take the phone away from the kids to encourage some other activity while their whole world is a five inch screen? What kind of response will they get? “What about your smart phone?”
Technology has taken over the family and where there is a place for it, technology shouldn’t take the place of good old-fashioned child rearing. Let’s take the time to play a game of catch outside with our kids, get them involved with yard work, go swimming and get out the hose and have a water battle. The kids would love squirting Mom and Dad so much they would forget about tech for awhile.
The point I’m trying to make is parents need to extract themselves from their own little technology world long enough to take an interest in their kids. Parent them. Train them. Teach them proper values of hard work, learning new skills, respect for others and setting goals for the future.
After the important things are done and parents need to focus on something else, there’s always the electronic babysitter! As for Pokemon Go, play it where there’s no traffic or pedestrians.