The Thing that Drives Me Crazy About Kids and Technology

The downside of technology.The downside of technology.A lot of parents tend to have a love-hate relationship with technology. Yes, it can make our lives easier and more organized, it allows us to keep better track of our children, and for many of us it allows us to work at home instead of tied to an office. But there are downsides too such as always being connected, fighting with the kids to get outside and away from the computer, and your boss always being able to find you. We have to worry about how much "screen time" the kids are getting and who they're interacting with. However, none of those things are what bother me the most about technology. What bothers me the most is the instant gratification of it all.

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When we allow our children to watch television or play a game, they expect to be able to get exactly what they want immediately because technology now permits it. Whether it's their favorite movie on Netflix, a show on DVR or Apple TV, a game on your iPhone, or their favorite song available on demand, everything they want is at their fingertips. We are not a particularly wired family, but we've got computers and iPhones. I got rid of the DVR over a year ago which was a huge adjustment for my son who was used to having entire seasons of his favorite shows available on demand. Even my two-year-old daughter who is now used to watching most of her shows on DVDs that we take out from the library doesn't understand that the episode of Curious George that is on our local PBS channel is not available to pop into the DVD player on a whim no matter how bad she wants to watch it.

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While it's great that technology can now buy us time when we need it and keep the kids entertained in the car, I wonder how it will affect our generation of kids twenty years from now. Will they have absolutely no patience because they aren't used to waiting for things. What happens when they don't have access to something, regardless of the reason why? While most parents are still limiting the amount of time their kids spend using technology, we're spoiling them in a different way. What's one game when it's only 99 cents or even free? I think it's a slippery slope and as parents we have to be very careful as to how many options we are giving our children just because it's easy and how long we make them wait to get them. My parents certainly weren't getting me something new every day or every week or letting me watch what I wanted every time I wanted it (remember when he had to watch television as a family because there was only one of them?), and I think I'm better off for it.

This post was written by Sarah Fernandez.

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