Are You Punishing Yourself When You Unplug Your Kids?

Recently, I was at an event and a mom said, "It's going to be a long weekend. I punished my child from all electronics." Another parent at the table was shocked. She said, "You know you are only punishing yourself!" Do parents want electronics to entertain their children or educate them? Can't children these days entertain themselves with toys other than electronics?

Unfortunately, kids these days do not remember life before the iPad, iPhone, laptop, computer, tablet, DS, or the Xbox. Their social life and communication skills suffer because they are having virtual snowball fights instead of real ones. They are bowling on the Wii instead of at the bowling alley. We need to get our children to have real play dates instead of FaceTime. Don’t get me wrong; I think electronics are great for emergency purposes and for those who are long distant, such as family members to stay connected. However, it is totally different when it becomes the main source of entertainment and dependence.

I continued to listen to Parent number 1 explain that, “Yes, it was hard to be unplugged.” and yes, she was probably punishing herself (at first) but her and her child were able to engage together and play together. She said they read books, did puzzles, cleaned his playroom, and played indoor basketball. It was probably the "best punishment they had in a long time."

* Photo courtesy of AJ Designs.

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