My phone got sand in it on holiday in South Africa a couple of weeks ago and my daughter said I could use her old Blackberry which made me sit up, as I have for a long time wanted to be able to Tweet on my phone, get my emails and feel that I can work anywhere in the world.
But what I wasn’t prepared for was the addictive quality of being connected 24/7 and getting a little rush of adrenaline every time I see the little red light!
Now this got me pondering because after my feature on “Bribing Kids to Behave” on The Vanessa Show last week I met Shamash Alidina who has written a book about “Mindfulness for Dummies” in the same series as mine was on Vanessa ‘s Show talking about this very topic of addictiveness to the buzz of getting a text, email or twitter message.
So if I am aware of it, and have turned off my notifications, what about teenage kids who are perhaps not so self aware?
Their phones are glued to the palms of their hands and their thumbs are so dexterous that this generation of kids have the most nimble thumbs in history !
My kids have grown up with this way of communicating and think nothing of watching TV while texting, Tweeting or mainly being on “The Facebook” as my 76year old Irish mother- in –law calls it…. as she uses her i –pad !!
Now I have to say I absolutely love all this new technology but I am also a person of balance and i can see the dangers for kids and adults who don’t self regulate their use of it all.
I coach clients who allow their 11 year olds to be unsupervised as they play on the X box late into the night, and who find it difficult to put boundaries around their kids with mobile phones, use of social media and computers.
My friend Nicky who is a SENCO in a new Academy in Hampton says it’s a huge problem in class getting the kids to either turn them off or hand them in……
But it’s not really OK to put your head in the sand around this whole issue as kids need your guidance, direction and leadership in this even if they think you are being an old fuddy duddy.
Constant use of the laptops, mobiles and computers can’t be good for us in terms of radiation, concentration and addition to the buzz.
But it’s always about finding a healthy balance isn’t it ?
So just for today I want you to pause to ponder how you use, teach and control your child’s use of technology…….
I think it’s important that you do.
I’d love to hear your thoughts so pop up a post and let’s chat !
If you’d like to watch me on The Vanessa Show it goes out on April 18th at 2.15pm on Channel 5
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About the author
Sue Atkins is a Parenting Expert who offers practical guidance for bringing up happy, confident, well behaved children. She is also the author of “Raising Happy Children for Dummies” one in the famous black and yellow series published worldwide and the highly acclaimed Parenting Made Easy CDs. She regularly appears on BBC Breakfast and The Jeremy Vine Show on BBC Radio 2 and her parenting articles are published all over the world.
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Sue Atkins the Parenting Expert
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