It was a beautiful day to head to the beach. My family got into our minivan, joined by another family in their minivan. We both left from our home at the same time.
But our families would have a vastly different view on the way to the beach.
Both of our vans were close together as we drove down the highway. Suddenly from behind us, three motorcycles sped up and passed us. Right before our eyes, one of them popped a wheelie. The other motorcycle which had two riders took the challenge and did the same. We felt like we were watching a daredevil show from the comfort of our own minivan. Interstate 805 had never been so exciting!
We followed those motorcycles for miles, hoping to see more of the show. We weren’t disappointed as they popped more wheelies and finally zoomed off the exit ramp with great fanfare.
When we reached the beach, we excitedly said to our friends, “Wow, that was amazing! Could you believe those motorcycles?” The kids stared blankly at us. They had missed the whole thing. They were watching a DVD from the backseat and hadn’t even noticed the motorcycles.
Same ride. Totally different experience.
Do you ever wonder if life is happening all around your child, but it goes unnoticed because he or she is buried in a video game?
If we’re not mindful as parents, our kids can miss many beautiful moments because of a preoccupation with screens. (Ouch, that’s true for us adults too…)
On another occasion, my family went on a whale watching cruise. When that whale fin finally appeared out of the water, we caught it. But dozens of children missed it. They were playing with their devices inside the cabin.
There is so much in life to be missed when you are glued to a screen. It’s not just about those special moments like seeing a whale’s fin or watching motorcycles pop wheelies. It’s about the everyday moments and chances to catch your child’s eye and smile. It’s about allowing your children to experience boredom, so they can learn how to be creative themselves.
A world that is dominated by screens is a false world that revolves around pleasing your child. If your child doesn’t like something on a device, he can just move onto the next thing. Real life certainly isn’t characterized by endless options, drop down menus, and constant pleasure.
We miss out as parents too when we’re too busy on our computers to look up. My youngest child started kindergarten this year. On the rug downstairs, she’s lined up toy cars and planes in a T formation.
My older kids don’t do that anymore.
I realize my time as a mom is fleeting, and I don’t want to end up missing moments because I’m too engaged with my screens.
Today, we’re giving away a copy of Gary Chapman & Arlene Pellicane’s new book, Growing Up Social: Raising Kids in a Screen-Driven World!
To enter, simply follow the instructions below. And if you’d like to learn a little more about the book, check out the video trailer beneath the giveaway directions.