How old are your children?
What do they do in their spare time?
Our girls are five years old and I’m pleased to say the majority of their time is spent playing games and being creative.
I’ve often read that modern parents are too focused on keeping their children busy and worrying about them getting bored, so much so that we don’t allow time to get bored.
Of course boredom can be a great thing as it means children can invent new games and come up with their own ways of entertaining themselves. All of this being great for their development.
I have to be honest, I do think up ways of keeping my girls entertained and I do play with them a lot or sit with them and draw, but I do also allow them to get bored. For example, when I’m making their lunch or dinner, when I’m in the shower and getting myself dressed etc, and quite often in the early evening as I’m usually pretty tired by then too, but this has all got me thinking.
With more and more parents resorting to gadgets such as phones, games consoles and tablets, are children still being given the opportunity to ‘get bored’?
I rarely give my girls my phone or the iPad. In fact, I can’t remember the last time I did. They have a karaoke machine, so I will plug my phone into that for them as I’ve downloaded some Disney songs that they like to sing a long too, but I really don’t like the idea of them staring at a screen watching videos or playing games, especially when they could be doing something more productive.
Now, I’m not saying that all videos and games are bad. In fact you can get some really good educational ones, but I just think as their young age there are much better ways for them to learn.
My childhood was spent mainly outdoors. When I was young, I’d be in the garden with my sister right up until bed time, then as I grew older I’d be outdoors with my friends.
I had a mobile phone, but I didn’t use it for anything other than ringing my friends or parents for a lift home! I had a Facebook page, but again it was something I rarely used.
I do worry about my children’s future. This grip that social media and the internet has on young people nowadays is scary. It’s opened up a whole new world of vulnerability for our children. They can talk to anyone in the world and that’s scary. It’s so important for us to teach our children to use social networks and the internet responsibly, as well as teaching them about proper conduct and not to share personal information.
A big worry for me is cyber bullying. I was bullied in the school playground, but now that children can do this and also bully others online so easily is really worrying. I want to allow my children privacy, but at the same time I want to protect them. Does that mean keeping an eye on their social networks and any messages they exchange?
In some ways the internet and social media is great, but in other ways, it’s terrifying. What do you think?