The Biggest Thing We Face Raising Children That Our Parents Did Not

I sat with my five year old in a doctor’s office waiting room, and as she handed me her pink, VTech camera to go play with a plastic, farm house I smiled. I looked across from me and saw a young boy around her age happily enthralled with an electronic tablet, his mother with head bent focusing on her phone. The pull to grab mine out of my purse was there. I looked back to my daughter as she returned to me, already bored with the barn, and she reached quickly for her camera. It didn’t just take pictures. It had filters, voice modulators, and tons of games too.

Just as quickly I suggested, “how about I read you a book?” Then I pointed at the books along the wall.

I smiled victoriously as she picked out one of my favorites by Dr. Seuss, but that seemed short-lived as we later left the doctor’s office. I grimaced as I watched my child blindly go forward in the parking lot, her eyes glued to an “educational” game on her kiddy device.

Parenting and Technology

This. This was a struggle unique to our generation, and one that would probably only grow more difficult for future ones. I was a mom maneuvering my way through a technological age. On one hand I was blessed to have the opportunities to teach my children easier, but on the other I struggled with finding the balance for them, a balance that even adults struggled with.

A couple of months ago I had given my seven and five year olds our old cell phones. They didn’t have cell service on them, nor social media. So basically they were snazzy cameras and a way to watch videos or play games on WiFi, but still. But still, I watched them become absorbed into the devices. Even though we limited their time on them, they seemed to always be asking for them. We ended up making the phones conveniently disappear, and as I watched my daughter try and record YouTube videos with her VTech, walking unaware into traffic, I figured the same needed to happen with the pink camera. They just weren’t at a maturity level to deal with the pull technology took on their little brains. Even as a forty year old woman I had to tell myself to shut off my Facebook and put mine down at times. Just being honest.

My parents didn’t have to worry with this sort of thing! When I was five I remember being quite taken with a cassette recorder, but when given the opportunity I would have rather been in the pool. When I was around eleven or twelve I was indeed obsessed with my Nintendo, Friday the 13th game, but I also would spend sunup to sundown running through the woods. I loved me some Saturday morning cartoons, but otherwise I was mending frogs, riding the tires off my bike, and having sleepovers with my buddies where we actually talked verbally to one another instead of Snapping photos back and forth. I experienced cliques and bullying in high school, for sure, but there’s many a day I thank the Lord that social media didn’t exist when I was a teen. The level of cruelty and malevolence that can take place behind the safety of a screen is unparalleled. My parents didn’t have to deal with this, and many days I wish I didn’t either.

As a mom today you’re torn between utilizing the positive attributes of technology, or wanting to bury every single cell phone, iPad, and laptop, and go off the grid. I mean, you have to admit that a DVD player in the minivan is handy on a seven hour road trip, and for supermarket meltdowns nothing saves your sanity like a Surprise Egg video, but then you have to admit too that it’s a slippery slope not letting technology be your babysitter. Sometimes it’s easier to let your teen get on social media and socialize with her friends rather than deal with the moody brooding, but the zombie look in her eyes as her fingers swiftly move across the screen makes you wonder, can this be a good thing?!!

Brie Gowen
Brie Gowen
Brie is a thirty-something (sliding ever closer to forty-something) wife and mother. When she’s not loving on her hubby, chasing after the toddler, or playing princess with her four year old she enjoys cooking, reading, and writing down her thoughts to share with others. Brie is also a huge lover of Jesus. She finds immense joy in the peace a relationship with her Savior provides, and she might just tell you about it sometime. She'd love for you to check out her blog at

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