Help, my two year old is addicted to technology.

Isn’t that special?

It started out cute enough.  In fact I was quite impressed and perhaps a little filled with a certain amount of pride.  Charlie my two year old has amazingly mastered the use of our laptops, iPhones and the like.  He can fire up the laptop, navigate towards Kidos (a safe internet site built primarily for preschoolers recommended by SafeEyes) and interact with the different videos and games.  He asks to play my iPhone and is able to find, switch between, start up and play all the games.  Alphabet songs, matching games, memory games, shapes and puzzles are second nature for him already.  He has learned to count and say the alphabet mainly from his interaction with this technology.

That is good…right?  I kind of thought it was good, but I’m not so sure anymore.

I’ve created a monster (or unleashed one)

Each morning, each evening, at church, driving in the car, anytime there is free time my little cute son is acting like a junkie needing a fix. “Can I play your iPhone?  Can I play webkinz? Can I play computer?”

We homeschool and it has been quite convenient to have him occupied with the computer focused on some “educational” material.  But now that is all he wants to do. I want him to play with blocks, to run around outside. I want to see him breaking stuff, throwing rocks, but he just wants to play games.  I suggest building a fort, shooting nerf guns, running around outside and he throws a fit wanting to play video games.

Now he does receive proper correction when he is throwing a fit and he doesn’t get to do whatever he wants, but I’m still concerned about his strong reaction to the video games.  It is a little troubling to say the least. Is this OK?  Is this normal, sinful, independent behavior or is there something more powerful at play because of the nature of the video technology?

I know firsthand how powerful technology and entertainment can be to anyone, but is there a greater danger for little ones?.  I have this unscientific, yet highly fearful suspicion that the neurological affects of technology on small children may be greater than I realize.   We are in a new day and age.  This is the beginning of the generations completely raised on technology from birth.   What will be the long term effects?  What are some wise parenting tips to having balance in this matter?  Is there an age that is too young to be playing with this kind of digital fire?  Is is simply fun and possibly even educational?  What strong connections are being made in his young mind that will forever alter his personality?

I wold love to hear your thoughts on this matter. Let me know what you think.  Maybe there is a good balance to all of this.

Don’t Cry Over Spilled Milk -DAD!

The cliche’ is a nice reminder that stuff  happens in life and it is not worth getting too upset about simple mistakes.  I am so quick to tell my kids they are overreacting when they freak out about something so small and seemingly stupid.  I realized though when one of my kids did spill some milk I huffed and puffed, rolled my eyes, said their name in a long drawn out sigh and basically tried to make them feel as stupid as possible.  Why?  Because the spilled milk was going to inconvenience me.

Advice to self-if I am trying to teach my kids not to stress the small stuff, then I have to stop stressing the small stuff.

Charlie, A Horse Ride, and A Loving God.

It only took a few minutes.  The line lasted a lot longer….but it was worth it.  Man was it worth it!  His face says it all.  Just look, happy and so proud.  It makes my heart so glad.  The moon is shining bright behind his shoulder!  Charlie got to ride a horse!  A huge, gigantic, bigger than life horse! At least to him, but this was his moment.  He got to be a big boy, a real cowboy.

What a joy it is to me as a dad to be able to bless Charlie with this experience.  It totally moves my heart to give this time to my son.  As I was walking next to him and his face was shining with that wonderful smile, I was smiling right there with him.

It hits home in moments like this:  “If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!”  Matthew 7:11

I love seeing my kids smile. So does God, why do we have such trouble believing it?