Thanks to the times rapidly changing, our teens are online and have missed out on some of our most treasured childhood pastimes.
With the technological advances prevalent in our society, our children are becoming further and further removed from how we were once raised. Rather than getting a baseball bat and glove for their birthday, our children are getting kindles or iPads.
Rather than spending their time at home with family, our kids are on their phones texting and connecting with their friends via social media and avoiding real life communication. Thanks to the times rapidly changing, our teens are online and have missed out on some of our most treasured childhood pastimes.
Playing Pretend and Make-believe:
- Pretend-play is essential to the growth and development of a number of skills such as social and emotional skills, language skills, thinking skills, and maintaining an active imagination. While most children still engage in some pretend-play, this time is becoming replaced by apps, videos, and games.
- When our children don’t gain these necessary skills at a young age, they aren’t able to perform as well once they are teenagers because they lack proficiency.
Learning Valuable Social-Skills:
- When we were growing up we went out with friends and talked, laughed, fought, forgave, and learned from one another. Now whenever our teenagers get together they spend the majority of their time looking at their phones, and not engaging with the people around them. This lack of communicating with their peers is causing our teenagers to miss out on social-skills that they would otherwise have if they put away their phones.
Practicing Delayed Gratification:
- Our teenagers live in a world of instant gratification. They don’t need to wait for their favorite tv show to air next week, they can binge watch as many episodes as they want on Netflix. They don’t have to wait until tomorrow to talk to their best friend, they can text or snapchat them 24/7.
- While extremely convenient, this instant gratification is inhibiting our teenagers from developing some much needed patience.
Here’s What We Can Do About It:
Chances are you’ve noticed that your child has been missing out on these experiences, the question now is, “what do I do about it?” While it may be tempting to ban them from all social media, and take their phone away until they go off for college, this will also make them a social pariah.
Instead set up time limits and boundaries so they are not spending all of their time on devices. The most important thing you can do for your teenager is to lead by example. If they notice you’re continually glued to your phone, they will be too.
However, if they recognize you communicating effectively with others, spending time with those you care about, and engaging in hobbies then they will as well.
Tyler enjoys going to the mountains near his home in Draper, Utah to connect with his wife and children through camping, hiking, and quality time together. When he isn’t rebooting in the outdoors, he shares his fatherly experiences with the world through writing and creative designs. Tyler shares the ups and downs of family life and the solutions he’s found through lengthy research and involvement in the industry and his own experiences to help parents everywhere. Follow Tyler on: Twitter | LinkedIn
I am always thankful to have Tyler Jacobson write for my blog because he covers a topic that I am not yet familiar with: teenagers.
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