Technology - vent of sorts

Discussion in 'General' started by mama_dragon, Apr 8, 2015.

  1. mama_dragon

    mama_dragon Well-Known Member

    Please tell me I am not the only one. Tonight the boys had swim lessons. They are in different levels so different times. One after the other. So I packed some things for them to do while waiting. Book, hidden pictures, drawing paper and crayons. The boys are 6. So in the waiting area there were lots of kids waiting for siblings. Every single child had either a tablet or phone in hand. And over half of the parents were glued to their phones. I didn't even bring in my phone. So both my kids of course asked several times why they can't use a tablet. Is keeping kids entertained without technology a lost art? Boredom never killed anyone. And what is wrong with putting down the phone and interacting. While my kids had things to do I was interacting with them the entire time. Answering questions, listening to them tell a story about their picture etc. It's not hard. I watched kids try to get parents attention and the parent not look up from their phone. Ugh. I just find it sad that parents are missing out on a few minutes of connection with their kids.
  2. rrodman

    rrodman Well-Known Member

    I think it's really hard to judge in those situations. We don't know their lives. There are days when a glimpse into my life would look the same (me looking at phone, not so much kids), and there are days I'm totally engaged. Run your own race. It sounds like you are doing well.
    3 people like this.
  3. kingeomer

    kingeomer Well-Known Member TS Moderator

    This.  Outside of our phones, we don't have devices for the kids to play with outside of the home (my tablet does not have wi-fi out of the house and neither do theirs).  But I can understand why parents keep kids busy on tablets while waiting at practices and what not.   I can understand why some parents do not do that, as I fall into both camps at times. When my son has to go and sit for 90 minutes while we watch my daughter's dance class, he gets bored and he can't really move or run around, there is not enough room for that and not much room to bring activities for him to do, so he either uses his boogie board to draw on or I will give him my phone.  When we go out to eat, no, we do not bring devices to keep the kids occupied.
  4. weegus

    weegus Well-Known Member

    I am with you.  I know I am not supposed to judge, but I can't help feeling very annoyed with those situations.  That said, I tend to be a big, fat cranky pants about technology.  I often wonder if I am the only person under 35 without a tablet or smartphone!
  5. Leighann

    Leighann Well-Known Member

    ^^^ This.  There have been times I've had to deal with work after hours while my girls have their back-to-back violin lessons... so yes I'm on my phone dealing with work, and maybe they are on my iPad playing a game or watching a movie while her sister is having her lesson.  Not every time, but some times.  
  6. sharongl

    sharongl Well-Known Member

    I agree with the poster who said not to judge.  It may be that the only time the child is allowed to use the tablet is during lessons, and the rest of the day they don't use any technology at all.  I have done both depending on the day and the situation.
  7. ljcrochet

    ljcrochet Well-Known Member TS Moderator

    I know i would rather kids using electronics while waiting for a sibling to have a lesson then climb the walls- distracting everyone else waiting.  
    My girls have to wait during their sisters piano lesson.  9 times out of 10 when they bring an ipad and a book, they play on the ipad for under 5 minutes then they move back to the book, or they are reading a book on the ipad instead of playing.  
  8. megkc03

    megkc03 Well-Known Member TS Moderator

    My kids have kindles, a Nintendo 3ds(only one), and each have leapsters of some kind. I have my phone, iPad, and iPad mini.

    When we are out, say at a restaurant, there are no devices. Yesterday they had allergy testing, and they each used my iPad in 15 min intervals-we were there for over 2 hours(and there is no internet access so it's just games they can play without wifi needed). The previous time, we were there for four. So they used it. But they also read books. And colored. Annabella has dance for an hour a week, so the boys use my iPad for 30 min each. While one uses it, the other is reading. And that's the only time they use it. Never at home. N will use the 3ds for an hour on the weekend. I'm not too concerned because both boys are blowing through books it's insane. Sometimes you have to do what you have to do.

    This reminds me of when we were in Italy. My three kids were 3.5, 3.5, and 22 months old. Dh had a cousin who's son was around 3. Previously before we left, we loaded up our iPod touches with a few videos. Why? Because in Italy, dinner is at 8/9 pm, and goes until 11. My kids were in bed at 7:30pm. We went to a restaurant, dh's cousin little boy is out of control. Totally out of control. And his cousin(in italian), said "well if he was placed in front of the tv all the time..." Not true. My kids were supposed to be in bed. I was doing what worked for my family in that situation. It's what worked. And they were well behaved. No meltdowns. Ate their dinners. Did as they were told.

    It's just a little glimpse into 24 hours, or 72, or 84. I too hate technology because I'm attached to my phone way more than I should be. But I'm not going to judge an hour or two of someone's life based on their screen time.
  9. cheezewhiz24

    cheezewhiz24 Well-Known Member TS Moderator

    We have an iPod for kid use and the only time mine are allowed to use it is very strictly regulated.

    My daughter (3) has it when we pick up her brothers at kindergarten. It's a 10 minute drive each way and about 10 minutes of waiting until they get out from school. She doesn't use the iPod while she eats her snack in the van, though. After a nap she used to be cranky, upset and irritable. I buckled in a screaming kid every day for months. It was extremely unpleasant. I realized she was bored and since we make that trip in the morning without a device, figured it would be a way for her to enjoy this mandatory, boring part of her day. I've gotten comments from my parents and the drive thru person at Wendy's for it, but it's made my life a lot easier and our afternoons much more pleasant.

    My boys can use it when I'm making dinner but there is only one, so they have to take turns. When I'm elbow deep in chicken breading, I need to not be breaking up fights.

    The only time my kids ever use it outside of those situations is at the doctor's office. Nobody wants kids running around or screaming their heads off there.
  10. mama_dragon

    mama_dragon Well-Known Member

    I should not judge but well sometimes I can't help it because it frustrates me that I am working hard to keep electronic device use minimal and feel sometimes it might be a losing battle. I guess my issue is it was 10+ kids. Not one or two. I sat through many many of my brothers practices and games. My mom didn't bring much to keep me entertained. A book, coloring paper etc. I kept myself entertained or made friends and we played whatever we could in the space available. I made friends with the youth minister who kept scores at basketball games and he would let me help him. If I had my face glued to an electronic device I would have missed out on this random interaction that made me feel important and was a lot of fun. I would not have been bored and wiggling around in my chair near where he was so he would not have talked to me. I did get to help for several years. I just really found it all sad. Especially the parents ignoring the kids asking for attention. I doubt they even realised it.
    1 person likes this.
  11. dtomecko

    dtomecko Well-Known Member

    I agree with you.  I don't have that stuff out when we're out.  But we're not a techy family.  I have a smart phone, but it's a pay as you go type and don't use it much.  My husband just got one because I made him, but he never has it on or with him.  I keep a couple activity books and crayons in my purse and that's what I take out at restaurants.  I also feel like they need to learn how to entertain themselves and not have parents throw snacks/devices/etc. at them from all directions when they "might" be bored.  My kids can sit still with nothing to do, or entertain themselves.  They have pretty good self control for their age, and really always have when going out.  I don't know that I can take all the credit though, it might just be their nature/personality.  But I agree, and I find myself judging and I have to remind myself to stop.
    At home I let them use the tablet for games, and to look questions they have up on the internet.  They just have to ask first and I try to monitor as best I can.  But I will admit, working from home I sometimes lose track of time, and an hour will go by and I'll forget they're still on it.  So if people saw me at home, I'd be just as guilty!
  12. miss_bossy18

    miss_bossy18 Well-Known Member TS Moderator

    The idea that parents should always pay attention to their kids when asked to is a fairly new one. Sure, we're distracted by tech now. A generation ago it was TV. Before that books and newspapers. Before that bridge and cocktails. Before that maintaining the household. Parents have always through all time ignored their kids to some extent. I would guess that overall our generation spends more time interacting and paying attention to their kids then most previous generations in human history.

    As for kids being glued to their devices when they could be doing other things, well, what other things? Haven't you heard you're required to have your children within eye sight at all time? That every other person they meet is a potential predator and letting them wander off independently is dangerous? /sarcasm

    Seriously though, I don't think it's the tech that is the source. I think it's a symptom of a deeper cultural shift that has happened in the last generation or two having to do with how we perceive parenting, the wider community, safety, and risks. That's my theory anyway. :)

    Regardless, no one is required to value or prioritize what you value and prioritize for your family. You don't want your kids glued to tech? Awesome! Keep doing what you're doing. As for the rest of us, we'll continue to do what works for our families that aligns with our values and priorities.
    7 people like this.
  13. mama_dragon

    mama_dragon Well-Known Member

    I was not ignored as a child. I was expected to entertain myself and know when or if I should interrupt my parents. But if I did ask for attention for whatever reason I at least got a glance and a not right now or I'm busy response.

    My kids do entertain themselves and are left to their own devices all the time. They are not the center of the universe. But I do at least acknowledge their existence even if it is "a not right now I'm busy".
  14. Chrissy Nelson

    Chrissy Nelson Well-Known Member

    I am guilty of my kids always being on their electronics.  Most of the time they are reading a book or drawing on their ipad app.  I used to be so annoyed by it but I guess what is the difference between that and them reading an actual book or coloring on the activity page a restaurant gives them.
    1 person likes this.
  15. sharongl

    sharongl Well-Known Member

    OK, how about this perspective.  When my son was 3, I was told he was "most likely a child with ADHD".  Although he didn't get the actual diagnosis until he was 11, he has always had the active behaviors of a child with ADHD.  As a result, there are many times he would have his DS, or my phone, just to keep him occupied and happy.  He is also constantly wanting my attention when he isn't otherwise occupied, no matter if it is one minute or ten.  So, to an outsider, it may appear that I am ignoring him, but I am actually ignoring him on purpose to allow him to figure out how to entertain himself.  His brain runs about 100 mph, and is always looking for input, and it is very difficult to be the provider of that input 24/7.  Now that he is older, he can do it, but when he was 3,4,and 5 years old, he would make everyone around him nuts if he wasn't constantly occupied--something he really can't help!  My point, is while it may look like one thing, you don't know what is going on the other 23.5 hours a day.
    1 person likes this.
  16. rissakaye

    rissakaye Well-Known Member TS Moderator

    I think it's one of those things where you are just seeing a glimpse into people's lives and it's hard not to make certain judgements.  I'm actually most likely to let my kids use tech when they are waiting at a siblings events.  Sarah is a reader and bought herself a kindle e-reader.  So if you casually walk by at one of Timothy's soccer games, you'll see a girl curled up in a chair, completely oblivious to everyone with her head in a tablet.  When truthfully, she's lost in a book in fantasy land and just got tired of hauling all of her books around wanted an e-reader so they would all be with her. Timothy tends to play games on the kindle when he has to wait.  
    It's one of those things where every family has to find their own pace.  If the kids go to public schools, they will learn to use technology in some capacity.  It's part of life now.
    I will confess that I miss the days when my kids were really little right before cell phones got quite so interesting and mom, dads, nannies, whoever would sit and chit-chat at the park while the kids played.  It was a nice way to get a little grown-up time while the kids burned off energy.  Now when I visit a park, most of the grown-ups are looking at a screen (and sometimes, I pull out the e-reader and read).
    What does annoy me is that sometimes I would read on the reader at soccer practice.  Random kids would come up and stare over my shoulder at my e-reader.  When I would look at them and ask them what they wanted, their answer was usually I just wanted to watch you play games.  They were usually quite disappointed I wasn't playing a game, but reading.
  17. AmynTony

    AmynTony Well-Known Member

    how do you know they weren't reading a book or drawing and coloring on their respective electronics?  Abby used to bake cupcakes on one app I had and both of them read on their Kindle's.  As for "asking for attention", I don't know about you, but "mommy mommy mommy mommy" incessantly makes me want to poke my eardrums out with a rusty paperclip.  Maybe some of those parents were doctors or other practitioners looking at test results or analyzing bloodwork for a patient?  Maybe they were looking at emails because they were refinancing their house...
    I don't know..I don't see any difference between playing on an electronic device and reading a fills time and space.
  18. mama_dragon

    mama_dragon Well-Known Member

    I could see what a lot were playing. Two next to us were playing shoot up games. Two were watching Nick cartoon with no headphones.

    And no one ever said kids aren't annoying and exhausting. But usually giving them the attention even a glance and some sort of acknowledgement will quiet them faster then ignoring. Completely ignoring. You don't ignore adults. Why ignore a child.

    And the parents I could see were not "working". Facebook and games.

    I don't think books and electronic games are in the same league.

    Everyone can have their opinion and are free to parent how they want. I choose to parent with limited technology. I have two kids who for their birthday dinner choose to wait the entire hour for a table. Without an electronic device for entertainment. Did they get restless. Yep but they didn't complain. On their own with no prompting they made up I spy games, spelling games, made up stories about their imaginary mice, math games etc. Not one of those things would they have done if all I had done was take a device out and hand it to them.
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  19. eagleswings216

    eagleswings216 Well-Known Member

    I'm glad your kids can wait that long and not drive everyone else around them crazy.  Mine cannot.  Mine are more like Sharon said and are probably ADHD, and so in a situation where they have to wait and not be restless and drive others crazy, we have an iPad that we take along, or they have Leap Pads.  People can judge me if they want, but without those things, my kids are "THOSE" kids, the ones who can't sit, who complain and whine and fight, and talk to everyone to the point of totally driving people nuts.  They just don't have the self-control or patience to wait for an hour, or heck, even 10 minutes!  Now, if they talk to me or ask me for something, they usually get a response, BUT, there are also times I intentionally ignore, especially when I think they can do something themselves or sometimes I just ask them to wait briefly because they need to build their ability to wait.  It's not easy for some kids to do.
    At home, they are limited in how long they can use those tech things, and many days when the weather is good, they barely use them, if at all.  Like today they came home from preK and are playing outside.  They will come in for dinner and probably go back out again until dark, which is close to bedtime this time of year.  People in public may see us with electronics and think just what you thought, but they don't know our whole life.  If your kids can behave in those settings without tech, then good for you.  Some kids, including mine, can't.
  20. pretty girl

    pretty girl Well-Known Member

    My daughter has a tablet and gets it when I need to get things done. She used my phone today at the drs. I needed to get things done and she needed something to keep her entertained. I don't expect my 2 year old to stay entertained for nearly two hours nor was a book or coloring going to work out cause it was dark. I didn't ignore her if she actually needed something but I needed her to be in her own world for a while.  It is what it is don't like how someone else raises their child? Don't raise yours like that.
  21. mama_dragon

    mama_dragon Well-Known Member

    One of my boys is being evaluated for autism. So perhaps you too should not judge. He was evaluated for adhd without the H. He was referred on for an autism evaluation. So no it's not easy. I get that more than you know. I also have two friends with kids who use iPads for developmental reasons. One for communication since he is 6 and does not talk. The other uses it at school due to severe learning disabilities. I never said it does not have its place. I just think it's way overused and too often the first resort for busy parents.
  22. Rollergiraffe

    Rollergiraffe Well-Known Member TS Moderator

    I found we were overusing the ipad as a parenting device for a while. I would automatically give it to the boys whenever I wanted to sleep in a bit, get something done, whatever. I took it away for a while, and they had no problem transitioning to things that would keep them entertained, but it's loud stuff that would be disruptive in certain settings. So, we use the tech as a happy medium; they get the ipad when they're tired and need to chill out for a little bit (because they don't nap or even lay down and chill out to watch tv or anything, resulting in tired overwrought kids) or when we're in a situation where their normal play would be disruptive (like appointments), or when they're waiting for an unreasonable amount of time (bad service in a restaurant etc), or sometimes just because that's what they want to do and they haven't had it in a while. It's part of letting them figure out the best use of their time.
    I am sure it looks like we are ipad parents sometimes. I am all about reducing the general level of stress in any given situation though, so if it requires screen time, that's cool by me. It's unreasonable for me to expect my kids to behave for any period because they're simply not capable of it. And yeah, sometimes we just need to ignore each other LOL. I'll be honest about that. I spend 12 hours a day at their disposal; sometimes I need a few minutes to myself to figure out which Golden Girl I am or whatever.
    3 people like this.
  23. miss_bossy18

    miss_bossy18 Well-Known Member TS Moderator

    This is what I find interesting about this thread. You describe this situation and the implication is that somehow this is a superior way for children to entertain themselves, that it's inherently better. And I get that in your worldview that holds true. But for me, it doesn't matter. If my kids entertain themselves in this way or on an iPad or iPhone, it's all the same to me. I don't place a high value on low tech. So while I respect your right to parent your way I don't really get the hand wringing about me choosing to parent a different way. I don't understand the "those poor kids" attitude. We don't see technology use as a negative in our family so to have someone else express what amounts to pity for our poor kids over it is mildly irksome.
    3 people like this.
  24. rrodman

    rrodman Well-Known Member

    This plays to my point though. My kids are great at entertaining themselves without tech. They actually use it very little. But if you saw them on a rare occasion they are using it, they'd look like little zombies. That tells you nothing about their ability to entertain themselves without it.

    And I don't feel it's my job to respond to my kids every time they want my attention as soon as they want it. I need to give them appropriate levels of attention, but I feel no guilt about not stopping an important task to listen to one tattle on the other for the 1000th time. There are dynamics in families we just can't take in in short, isolated moments.
  25. rrodman

    rrodman Well-Known Member

    This is empirically true. Even working moms today spend more quality time with kids than SAHMs did 50 years ago. And those moms did a great job too!
  26. rrodman

    rrodman Well-Known Member

    Kind of this.

    I feel like, with parenting, there are a lot of things I do really well and feel proud of myself for. There are a lot of things I suck at and wish I did better. I assume most parents are the same. Maybe those parents you saw agree with you that they should do better on this front, but they are great at things you wish you could improve. Maybe they think they are kicking butt at this too? Regardless, ain't none of us got this parenting thing 100% figured out. Run your own race.
  27. sharongl

    sharongl Well-Known Member

    Not all kids with Autism are the same, and ADD manifests much different from ADHD.  The H stands for "with Hyperactivity", so a child with ADHD is MUCH more active than a child with ADD.  I teach autistic kids that are very active, and some that are very quiet and would be very content to sit for hours with out any contact with others.  The point is to not judge others based on a 30-60 minute clip of their life.  Just because you don't like technology for your kids, doesn't make it awful for others.  My kids were always "behind" others in getting tech, and were among the last of their peer group to get some.  They still don't play any "shoot them up" games that some of their friends do, and are very proud of themselves for getting a friend involved in boy scouts "to get him away from his xbox".  I have rarely had to limit the amount of screen time my kids have, because they rarely go overboard with it.  BUT, I have at times taken it away from my ADHD son as punishment, as that is the ONLY punishment that seems to work with him--oh and when he loses his tech, he goes and reads books.  My kids spend 8 weeks each summer at camp that doesn't allow any tech, and they do just fine without it.
  28. cheezewhiz24

    cheezewhiz24 Well-Known Member TS Moderator


    At 7 I spent an entire summer beating Mario on an Nintendo. It sure didn't stop me from going to college, graduating with a degree unrelated to video games. My husband still plays them and when I met him worked at a GameStop. Now he is in IT. Building a computer with a friend in high school wouldn't have been appealing had he not been aware what a fast computer can do.

    As to your son being evaluated with ASD, I've seen how an iPad helps a kid function with augmentative communication, too. Her iPad use in a restaurant is the most 'normal' thing she does. Playing on a different one actually helps her family- people don't stare at her/make rude comments which makes the meal much more enjoyable for the rest of the family. If other kids didn't use tech routinely, people would still be staring.
  29. Leighann

    Leighann Well-Known Member

    I love this ^^^ and plan on incorporating it into many future conversations :)
    3 people like this.
  30. Chrissy Nelson

    Chrissy Nelson Well-Known Member

    I don't really care what other parents do with their kids that much.  So if someone has a kid that knits as opposed to a kid that is watching SpongeBob on an Ipad they are a more attentive parent? 
  31. dtomecko

    dtomecko Well-Known Member

    I totally recognize I am unfairly judging in these situations. I have no idea what their life is really like. My issue is more of a pet peeve with it. I don't necessarily think it's a sign parents are ignoring their kids. I know I "ignore" my kids in plenty of other ways! I just personally hate seeing how many adults and young adults communicate with their devices these days and tune everything else out. All the time you'll see a group of friends out and they're all on their phones not talking to each other. Or they're talking about what they're texting. Adults do it too. At family get togethers. The phone is out and being checked the whole time. They're reading texts as you're trying to talk. you get interrupted with a ding from a text and you know you aren't being heard anymore. It's rude, and it's becoming accepted as normal behavior by the younger generation. We had Easter at my in-laws. The small house was filled with pre-teens glued to some device. lounging around, not thinking to make room for others to sit, stuck in their own world. My husband is a high school teacher and sees the difference in students over the last 10 years when it wasn't as prevalent. Now they dont acknowledge you or say hi because they're glued to their phone walking down the hall. My sister works at a place where they hire college interns to assist with public relations and they can't even draft a professional email. They respond in text format. Its scary and sad. So then when I see 3 year olds using a phone and playing games better than I could, 6 year olds asking when they can have a phone too, it's just a sign to me that things will only get "worse".

    But yes, I know it's judgmental, this won't be the case for every kid that's into technology and there are plenty of other factors that play in. But it's a personal thing for me, and the main reason I don't take devices out in public in front of my kids.

    But I do agree with the earlier post that we each do what we think is best for our family. This is something I feel strongly about, which is why I commented. But I recognize it's probably not the most popular view and I'm not trying to judge anyone who feels differently.
    1 person likes this.
  32. miss_bossy18

    miss_bossy18 Well-Known Member TS Moderator

    Ok. But is any of this actually "bad" or just different than what we're used to? If the whole next generation communicates in this way, then I would say it won't be long till taking more than a sentence or two to reply to someone will be considered something only grandparents do. :laughing: I mean, people were terrified of telephones when they first became household items. Same with tvs. And computers. Yes, these things are all different. Yes, some things are lost with each change. But many things are gained too. I don't see that any of what you described is inherently bad.
  33. sharongl

    sharongl Well-Known Member

    I agree, there are situations where the technology shouldn't be out.  My brother drives me crazy because he is addicted to his phone.  BUT, a family gathering is very different from a waiting room.  I teach, one of my duties is bus duty at the end of the day.  I am constantly telling kids to put phones/iPods/tablets away because they are not allowed in school.  If they use them on the bus, it is up to the driver--and many allow it because it keeps down the noise and rowdiness.  That is what we need to work on as a society, when to use the tech, and when it is not appropriate.
    I chaperoned a Middle School dance this year.  The rule is, no phones, and if you bring one, it goes in a bucket in the lobby where an adult can watch them.  You wouldn't believe how many kids tried to bring them in to the dance, even saying "my parent said I have to have it on me".  Well, the rules are given out before, and they are allowed to come to the bucket to check their phones, if needed, but the rule is a hard one.   Yes, kids need to be taught how to interact with one another, and some are out of control with their phones.
    But back to the topic, yes, there are times when tech is not appropriate, and in our family we will speak up to the person and tell them to put whatever down and take part.  I found that bringing out a game gets the tech put away the fastest!  But in a situation where you are waiting on a regular basis, like during a class, is it really so horrible and inappropriate?
    1 person likes this.
  34. dtomecko

    dtomecko Well-Known Member

    I agree it's different, but yes I think it's bad at times too.

    At least with previous advances in technology, when you had to leave the house, those things weren't attached to you.

    Just now driving home, a teenager came speeding around the corner looking at their phone. There's a time and a place for technology, and the younger generation doesn't always appear to get that.
    1 person likes this.
  35. jjzollman

    jjzollman Well-Known Member

    As a special ed and early childhood teacher, I find it upsetting. Most every teacher I speak with in my district as well as other districts also feel the same way. Including my husband who teaches high school. I'm not going to write a huge post about it, and I'm not judging parents who allow it, but I am happy with our decision to not have gaming devices in our home.
    1 person likes this.
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