Monday, July 19, 2010

Teach your kids not to share

Okay, I'm beyond annoyed right now. I was paging through my new Parenting Early Years magazine when I came across an ad that made me quite angry.

The ad is for an automobile and the words at the top say, "Teach your kids not to share." Below the two pictures that follow is the statement, "Sharing is for other cars." This vehicle features a dual-screen rear seat entertainment system so kids don't have to negotiate which program to watch or video game to play...and they don't have to share! Isn't that nice? Don't I wish I could have just switched on the onboard entertainment system for my kids when they were growing up so I wouldn't have had to be bothered with conversation on the way to the grocery store, church, or even on the 4 1/2 hour drive to Grandma's? Not!

Call me old-fashioned, but I actually treasure the memories we made when traveling together as a family. The songs, the games, the laughter, and mostly, the conversation.

Guess what, parents? It's really okay to drive around with your kids and talk. Wouldn't you rather find out about how their day went, what they're dreaming about, what boy they like, what teacher they can't stand, etc., etc., etc. than have them lost in the quicksand of the electronic and digital world that is seducing them away from you bit by bit? You are the parent. You have some say. You can turn off their computers, phones, iPods, televisions, video games, and so on. It's okay for you to do that. Your job is to be a parent and not a best friend. If you do it right, your kids will be closer than ever when they grow up...and believe me, it's worth the wait!

So what are your thoughts? Do you think the slogan, "Teach your kids not to share," is a good one? Is that where we're heading in the 21st century? Are we raising a generation of self-centered young people who want, and get, what they want when they want it? God help us.

Do me a favor and weigh in on this one. I'd love to know if I'm part of a dying breed. I do know one thing...generations of self-centered people equal generations of people who could care less about the environment. Now that's something to think about.

Keeping it balanced,



  1. I totally agree with you, Hana. I don't know many other parents who are there with us, but I know of at least one other one and we all are outright refusing to go the digital route. Hubs and I both have iPod touches and have declared technology-free zones and times in the house. Our kids will enjoy old-fashioned creative and thinking games and activities on road trips, not zoning out on more and more media.

    To further infuriate you, I recently asked a large group of my friends to tell me some ideas for how to entertain a rear-facing baby on a long road trip and many people suggested Benadryl. Oh don't even get me started on DRUGGING our kids for our own comfort. Grrrrr.

  2. Thank you for your affirmation, Jen.

    Now about the second part of your comment...SERIOUSLY????? I'm speechless.

  3. And people wonder why there are so many teens addicted to drugs and alcohol these days. This is also why they started taking certain childrens medicines off the shelf. If you feel the need to drug your child for your own sanity on a car trip or other reason you have some serious issues and maybe should have thought twice about having children... but this is only my opinion.

  4. I am completely with you on this!! I really enjoy talking to my 4-year-old as we drive around (although it does amuse me that she can find enough to talk about that it can be non-stop for over an hour!) and we like to sing as well - with the radio, without, or even making it up as we go. On long trips, I pack crayons, books, and extra toys - we always keep a bag of small toys (happy meal type stuff) in the car - and my kids, ages 4 and 2, share (mostly)!

    As far as technology goes, my husband and I are committed to limits here. We have agreed to no TVs, video games, or computers in the kids' room, even as they grow older. We think these things need to remain in the living room, where it contributes to family time and allows our supervision! Also, we see no need for children to have cell-phones, until they begin to drive, and may need to call us...although we know 10-year-olds who are never without theirs! (This is a serious pet peeve of mine!)

  5. Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Rachel. And I'm so with you about the cell phone thing. Especially with the possibility of the link to brain tumors.

    It's time for parents to take back the control of the family and I applaud you for the job you're doing!


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