I am not just a Mama. I am an iMama. Living in the 21st century with small children presents some rather unique, and often comical situations. Teaching little ones about technology can result in bizarre circumstances that make you think, "this is really weird." But then the reality is, we live in an age when modern conveniences are used every day!
For instance, my children -
-know how to play and change a dvd in our multi-dvd player.
-use the microwave to reheat food.
-play with my iPod (what kind of a name is that?).
-understand which button works the remote for the van lock.
-don't freak out when they call someone and are told they have to leave a "voicemail".
-unload the dishwasher, but don't actually wash dishes.
-haven't got a clue about audio tapes.
-think nothing of our cordless phones.
-call sites on the world wide web dot coms.
-want email addresses.
-ask to use the cell when we are out of the house running errands.
-have their own computer, that's not a toy, or useless keyboard.
-never look at the ground when you say "mouse".
-realize that my debit card is more valuable than the less than $5 cash I usually carry in my wallet.
-ask to play on my Palm, and don't think twice about what my hand is doing.
-go to daddy explaining that a toy needs new batteries.
-think high-quality computer animation (read - Pixar), has always been the norm for children's entertainment.
-tell me to charge it when they ask if we can do something, and I explain it is too expensive for us.
-don't get it when someone with a film camera visits, and they can't see the picture right away.
-know the term computer crash, and recognize the blue screen of death (they even encourage me to reboot).
So how do you instill the "old fashion values" of hard work, and honesty when it is so easy to have computers, machines, and automated processes do it all for you? I certainly do not think that we have the corner on the answer. But we have learned a few lessons along the way. Lessons like-
-purchase toys that use motor skills, and good ole kinetic energy (read - Caleb's inexhaustible supply of movement).
-make strong boundaries on computer game time.
-allow only one dvd per day (albeit Ben Hur *wink*)
-establish chores that require participation in household management.
-read to the kids.
-have the kids read to us (the assumption for both of these is books, not the back of cereal boxes).
-ask questions that require more than "yes" or "no" answers, and be willing to give in-depth answers back. In other words, participate in quality conversation.
-play board games together.
-invite friends/family over, and show hospitality through example.
-pray and read the Bible together.
The last one I can't stress enough. I believe the best thing we can do to anchor our children in a world that says, "have it your way, and have it now" is to teach them practically, emotionally and spiritually the greater worth to be had in life. We are not here for our own whims. We are not here to make the fastest buck, and then merely die. We have purpose. Meaning. Value. We teach our children about their calling every day. What a treasure to see them realize that there is a point beyond getting their own way! A treasure worth losing your life for, in order to find it.