Parents, the pressure is real, is it not? To purchase technology from gaming systems to i-anything for our kids this Christmas. The glut of seasonal advertising isn’t all to blame. My farm boy announced he is one of five students in his class who does not have a phone. Peer pressure is strong. The farm princess prepared her Christmas list. It includes an i-phone 6s, an i-pod and an i-pad. A stacked list might increase her odds.
Please don’t misunderstand. We are not a tech free home. We have a desk-top computer, a laptop tablet, a kindle, an i-pad and My Farmer and I carry smart phones. In my opinion, the kids spend more than enough time playing games on each.
As we consider what to give the kids this year, I’ll admit technology is a big part of the conversation. What exactly are we holding out for? We’ve endured more than one discussion about the lack of gaming equipment at our house, only to be told that is why ‘no one will come to my house. We have nothing cool here!’
However, a quick trip out to eat this weekend confirmed our choice.
We met up with friends and their kids. The boy, same age as our farm boy, jumped in our vehicle for the ride to town. After a few attempts to engage in conversation I realized why the backseat was so quiet. All three kids were staring at a phone screen. The boy, proud owner of the phone, was demonstrating a game and soon they were passing it around taking turns. No one said a word.
Dinner was quick, good and full of conversation among adults and kids. Later we settled in our respective vehicles and headed home. It wasn’t long before the farm princess asked me to tell a story. Soon, My Farmer was telling stories. The kids joined in. The tales grew in absurdity. Before long, the kids were sprawled across the backseat, holding their sides, giggling uncontrollably. You know the kind of laughter . . . just when you think you can breathe something strikes your funny bone, and the laughter begins again. It lasted all the way home.
As we entered the house, the farm boy tripping over another joke and the high pitched twitter of the farm princess filling the house, My Farmer grabbed my arm. “And this is why our kids won’t get technology for Christmas.”