Some time ago, two outlandish pieces of news surprised me and made me think about the way parents and children relate through technology:
One was about the mother who gave her 13 year old son an iPhone as a Christmas present with a 12 point contract attached with rules and regulations on how and when to use it.
The other one was the story of a Chinese man, so desperate about his 23 year old son playing online games and not searching for a job, that he hired a virtual contract killer to kill his son’s character in those games.
I found these stories moving, and even though the parent´s reactions may have been objectionable, their attempt to connect with their children seemed truly genuine.
Let us remember the sons in those stories, being 13 and 23, still belong to a generation whose parents weren’t born with the internet, perhaps not even with color TV. So on top of the “generational gap” they find a “technological gap” between them and their children.
Kids have a special way to look at things, and a privileged kind of intelligence. Many people who dedicate their lives to children entertainment agree the world would be a better place if we were able to preserve this ability to learn and to be surprised that they have.
Let´s spend time with our children and make things together, whether it is playing a squash match, cook food or take a walk. Technology, computer and tablet games are just another source of potential valuable shared experiences between parents and children, between brothers or friends.
Yes, I know: “In the old times life was simple and we didn’t need any tablet to have fun with our kids!”. But put it this way: at least we won’t need to hire a virtual contract killer…nor a lawyer.
What about you? Do you share “tech moments” with your children?