I posted this on my facebook status yesterday in an effort to transparently reach out to parents on the cusp of this life-changing decision. No, that is not an exaggeration. Consider this an invitation to an open discussion.
For what it's worth....
To anyone considering buying their kids "technology"....
Buying my kids smart phones was the worst parenting mistake I have ever made. I can't blame ALL of my parental woes on that one decision- but it sent us careening down the slipperiest slope of family distruction that I never saw coming. Sure, we had "talks" with the kids, made rules, supervised- but once caught in the independent mode of "shut out", coupled with the difficulty of a cross country move, it seems almost impossible to win them both back. The phones were just the beginning and I recently added to the chaos by buying my son an Xbox in October so that he could "keep his friends back home" by playing with them online. Right. Apparently, I never learn. I'm being completely transparent when I tell you that every day is a struggle in our relationship now.
Please please please- be sure that you are sure when you give your kids that first smart phone, kindle, iPad, gaming console. Once you realize how difficult parenting through it is, it is too late to undo some (not necessarily all) of the damage. And to those of you who have had no struggle at all, I wish I were as strong and wise as you.
Wrapping It Up
9 hours ago