If you have followed me as a columnist or blogger for any amount of time, you'll know that I'm not that person who likes regret. I operate mostly on a problem solving, thinking ahead (engineer brain if you will). I don't have too many regrets. I don't regret marrying OR divorcing their father. I don't regret leaving my home state of Connecticut after that divorce to move to Ohio. I do most things in my life with intention...especially parenting.
BUT. There's always a but, my kids say that all the time. But... I regret one thing at this point. Not knowing enough about technology and what my kids could get from it and how it could negatively impact them.
If you have young ones at home, and you have any sort of devices, you know there are some challenges.
Mulitple kids sharing devices.
The cost of having internet and providing all those devices.
The cell phone service costs.
The apps, games, and oh my golly the attitudes!
Give it, they're happy, take it they pout, slam doors or just plain check out.
We might think all this technology has been around for a long time...it seems like it, sure. But, parenting with all these devices hasn't been around for long.
In August I wrote a column about our school supply lists and what's missing from it: device monitoring apps.
Yes, that's right. We need to face this technology age head-on. The world is full of free (and not so free) information, images and videos that most 8 year olds find before you even know the nature of what it is they're watching.
We have a battle to fight. It used to be drugs, smoking, cutting school and teen sex....at least that's what MY parent worried about. Abduction was the one my grandmother worried about. While those are all still there, we (parents today and in the future) have way more to be concerned with above what we did.
Today, if you have technology in your home and kids too, you need to start (if you haven't already) embarking no a journey that will NOT end (or should not end) until they leave your home to go out into the adult world.
This journey is one that many parents might not feel comfortable doing, might not think is necessary, but let me tell you, it is. It's life or death in some cases.
If you have not read my column with the News-Herald Ohio this month, start at the beginning and click here.
Then, read the last two blogs and get onboard to a knowledge and protection journey!
You have a big battle and it is alive 24/7 and all of our kids are in danger of it.
Young people all have something in common... they are all young, insecure, and want to be accepted...even if they know better about what we tell them.
Please consider getting involved with a group like the Facebook one I mentioned two blogs back about Teens and Technology. You'll be amazed at what's out there, what you'll learn. You will also realize that you (and I) aren't the only ones dealing with these crazy issues at home.
If you are reading this and you have children in infancy, toddlers or preschool, STOP giving them phones ASAP. LIMIT devices and keep following this discussion.
Next Monday, come back for another tech and teen topic.