IS your child raising themselves due to your being overwhelmed and encompassed with what is going on social media.
Have we gotten so out of the loop that X-box, Minecraft, PlayStation and electronic devices are raising our children? Has social media really de-humanized this generation that our children are raising themselves?
Here recently we visited a very large park. This park has a few residential buildings, restaurants, shopping centers, even a huge lake with paddle boat rentals. To give you an idea how big the park is, you can walk around the trail and you would have walked two complete miles!
Often times I observe people. Yes, I’m a people watcher. So recently a family of 4 which included Dad, mom teenage son and 7 year old daughter arrive at the restaurant on the lake for dinner. And before the waitress has an opportunity to get the menus to everyone and ask about their drink selection, everyone was already glued to the device. Yes, even the 7 year old had a device in hand. In this day and age I guess it shouldn’t be a shocker. But growing up in my mother’s home if you wanted a device you had to buy it, yourself! So that mantra has kind of followed me. We are still abiding by the cell phones “You want it you buy it.” Guilty everyone does have a kindle. We are avid readers. So when we are on the go everyone grabs theirs and it sometimes just makes life a little easier, or maybe just quieter.
Now after dinner we decide to go to the park that is on the other side of the lake. We decided to feed the geese, who roam around the park freely. My observant eyes caught the scared look of a little boy who couldn’t have been more than 4 years old. He was standing right on the edge of the lake freely. The mother instincts in me immediately went to him and told him he was too close. I asked him where his mommy was. He looked around, looking lost and shrugged his shoulders. I instantly went into protector role. He strayed down the side of the lake looking around for 14 minutes. I decided I’d had enough of just seeing him wander around. I started asking him questions like what is your mom’s name. He shrugged and said “ma”. I asked him what his name is. He said TT. Yes, TT. Amazed, shocked or just pissed? I think I was all of the above. Maybe he was in stranger danger mode and didn’t want to provide the information to me. So I backed off a little while for about 2 minutes then he came and sat right next to my family. In that instant I realized how easy it could have been for a predator to come and take this innocent child. I think my husband became more pissed than I was. He went to every adult and asked is this your kid?? Everyone kept saying no, not mine. But sitting on a bench next to the paddle boats, which was a good ways away from the park was a young lady that was burried in her phone laughing at ignorant fighting post from FB. My husband had even asked her and without even picking her head up she said no. Now it was getting late, I went to get my phone from the car because it was time, maybe even past time to get the authorities involved. As I loud talked heading back to the park that I was calling the police because there is a little boy roaming the park alone a few ladies came behind. I’m thinking in my head, “I know good and well all of your kids aren’t over here missing or playing by themselves unattended! What the hell have you been doing that would turn your maternal instincts off?” He didn’t belong to either of them. Just as the operator came on the line I hear TT WHERE ARE YOU? TT!!” And the same lady that had her head burried in the phone was his mother! This lady had the audacity to ask me, “Have you seen this new fight that’s on the book?” Before I could even answer my husband said that’s your problem the book. The book almost had you locked up. The book almost had you motherless or childless. What if your son would have jumped in the lake? What if he would have walked off with someone?” She answered and said he knows better. Obviously not, because we watched her son for almost 30 minutes with her nowhere to be found!
Lesson learned. We need to really put the phones, tablets, computer devices down. I challenge each parent to put the phones down and engage with your child. I guarantee you the post, tweets, pins, chat, grams etc will be there when you get back on after you spend time with them. Real Time with your child is more important than seeing real time drama from social media. Your child will thank and appreciate you more.