I’m kinda in the dog house this morning with my children (so what’s new?). I was quoted this morning in the Melbourne Herald Sun as an advocate for giving children access to technology in their bedrooms and my doghouse situation is caused by the picture on the left of my son in his bedroom that he is most displeased with; not because of the staged over technology stuffed photo, but the unwanted notoriety that it is likely to bring him with his mates.
My stand on giving children monitored, deliberate, but ready access to technology is not a new point of view for me as I am well-known for my belief that our fear around technology and granting children equitable access to it is more often based on an adults fear and lack of understanding and lack of perceived control over it.
My stand here is not to give it to them to overindulge them; it is to teach them from a very early age that technology is merely a tool with which to achieve an end.
This is not part of a subversive argument to curtail family time, or grow room bound zombies with anti social non responsive behaviours (which as far as I can tell is part of the teenagers evolution anyway), but rather a belief that grounding them in a holistic upbringing where family values, socialisation, education, outdoor recreation, sports, technology, ethics and social and self-responsibility all can co-exist harmoniously in their world.
This solid early grounding allows them to have firm roots as they reach for the moon and stars to fulfil their potential.
I don’t understand how we can deny our children / young adults access to something so integral to their future. In their world they will live to over 100. They will have 6 distinct careers and 14 different employers. It is world where they will experience 100 years of technological change every 10 years and work in professions we can not even begin to imagine today. We can not send them into this world under-skilled and fearful.
Schools can and do achieve much, but it is at home where we have to ground our children and make them ready for this future world.
It is up to each parent to ensure that their child has the confidence, strategies, tactics and coping mechanisms that will allow them to readily respond to tomorrow’s challenges and grab eagerly for each opportunity.