Modern Electronic Family Boundaries
Families are fantastic. They can be diverse, tight-knit, energetic and a safe place to land after a long and bothersome day. Uplifting our spirits one day and breaking our hearts the next. A family built on love, honesty and trust are indestructible. Today in our modern technological age, our family unit is fragile with the possibility of destruction, quite effortlessly when we forget to put in place, proper boundaries.
The family unit is destined to rot from the inside out when Television becomes a babysitter when game consoles are more important than quality time together with family and friends. Damage is also done when a parents comfort is put above the needs of the children.
Monitoring a child’s Television and internet time has become more important than ever. The temptation to place your children in front of the TV for mums and dads timeout should be avoided. Children’s cartoons are becoming increasingly violent and sadistic. Desensitizing children and leaving them with no sense of right or wrong. Having no concept of what compassion towards others means.
Television and computer screens stifle the natural creativity of a child. Gone are the days when a stick was a tool of endless possibilities, limited only by the child’s imagination.
Excessive television and internet use encourages children to unplug from reality and avoid social situations. Why make and learn to keep friends when at 3.30 pm a character created to sell merchandise is their friend for a few hours before bed.
It is highly beneficial for a child’s emotional and social well being, to go outside and pick up a stick or kick a ball around with friends under the sky, not the roof. The next big bomb of social damage and distraction is the game console. Now I love a good computer game just as much as the next person. I have been known to become so engrossed in a game that the concept of time disappears.
Unfortunately for the family unit, this means the only interaction is at meal times or a grunt on the way to the toilet. It has become fashionable and the social norm to for every household to have a TV plugged into a game console in every bedroom of the house. Each individual is also encouraged with great media precision to have their own iPad or tablet.
The same problem occurs with games as it does with Television, the child learns to become dependent on these for entertainment and slowly loses the ability to use their own infinite imagination and social charm.
We have moved into an age when spending time together means everyone is in the same room playing their own portable devices and not speaking to one another. This is madness.
The other danger with computers and game consoles is the online aspect. People create fake profiles and are able to interact freely with your child. We always teach our children about stranger danger yet think it is harmless to let them play online. Social networks and online gaming has become the newest and easiest way for a predator to access your children.
The last boundary that most families are missing is one of the most important and if not properly constructed, is fundamentally devastating to the family unit. Personal space and independence. With all the games and TV shows raising our children, parents have started following the trend of raising lazier children.
I am meeting more and more parents who feel the need to do absolutely everything for their children, in the hope it will make up for the quality time they are not spending with them. From getting them a glass of water to dressing them well beyond the appropriate age.
Television shows containing young adults ageing from 18 to 25 years old that cannot survive without their parents are becoming increasingly popular. These fully grown children cannot move out of a home because they do not know how to cook, clean or do the shopping.
We are disabling future generations. A child also needs privacy. They need to learn how to enjoy their own company. A new fad called helicopter parenting is on the rise. The child is never left alone and everything is done for them.
What happens when the parent is no longer there? The child is left emotionally crippled, with no coping mechanisms and no concept of how to care for themselves. As parents our aim should be to raise fully functioning young adults, not raising children to feed our own needs.
The 21st century has ushered in a new era of people who don’t know how to survive because even parents have fallen for the new one-liner. “ It’s all about me. “ Turn off the TV, put down the games and teach your children how to be human, through love, honesty and unity. – Angela Soya