Jennifer is a one in a million stay-at-home mom. (More like one OF a million stay at home moms!) She graduated from a liberal arts college but there is nothing liberal OR artsy about her. She is married to Kevin Fischer of This Just In, and together they have a beautiful young daughter Kyla Audrey. In no particular order she loves dogs, wine, a good bargain, her family, pizza, and entertaining. Follow her blog of all things miscellaneous including but not limited to cooking and baking, entertaining and party planning, being a mommy, and homekeeping.
Our first family vacation to Walt Disney World in November 2011 was a complete success for many reasons. Mostly it was a success because Kevin and I were both PRESENT in the trip, enjoying every smile, giggle, and request to “go on another adventure” from our precious daughter Kyla.
Our greatest use of technology for seven days was checking the TV each morning for the weather forecast. We don’t own a laptop, Kevin left his Blackberry at home, and not once did we consider using the hotel’s business center for computer access. (We did, however, using the hotel’s business center at the end of the trip to ship packages home. It seems one little princess did more than her fair share of souvenier-getting.)
Don’t get me wrong; technology has made my life easier in ways and I would never, EVER be without a cell phone. But my reasons for needing a cell phone are because of safety: I get lost going around the block and I don’t own a GPS; I can’t change a tire to save my life; I have precious cargo with me everywhere I go. I’m not, and refuse to be, tethered to the stupid thing. If you saw how old the model is that I own, you’d laugh. And I’ve sent exactly ONE text message my entire life: during early labor to reassure a friend that I was just fine.
Computers have gone from luxury status (when I was in high school) to necessity (for all primary school attendees.) The average age for owning a cell phone is decreasing at an alarming rate. And Child psychologist Kimberley O'Brien says “Kids are able even at the age of 18 months to access games on iPhones.” Seriously? Doesn’t that startle you?
You can’t hide under your bed. As a parent you must realize that technology is here to stay. There are so many published articles and guidelines that tell you how to have a balance in your life but to me it boils down to old-fashioned common sense. I love how many sources tell you to ensure your child gets at least 60 minutes of movement a day. Really? I have a 2½ year old. I’m happy if she is SEDENTARY for 60 minutes a day. When she is older, trust me: she won’t be cloistered away on nice days, she will be terrorizing the neighborhood on her bike or giving me anxiety attacks trying to touch clouds when she’s swinging on her play set.
A post on a parenting blog I read discusses how moms & dads need to model responsible technology use for their children. We are reminded not to bring our devices to the dinner table. Wow. When I was growing up, I’d get in trouble if I wanted to read my latest Judy Blume novel between bites of meat & veggies. One tech-addicted parent, Beth Feldmen, “has caught herself checking messages during her kids' musical performances and Little League games. Her kids will ask her afterward: ‘Mommy, why were you on your BlackBerry?’” OMG.
If it takes the psychologist father of a famous Aussie celebrity to wake us up, so be it: “The use of devices such as iPhones, iPads and BlackBerrys is fracturing families who are becoming isolated from one another as they focus on their screen, said Antony Kidman, leading psychologist and author of the new book "Staying Sane In The Fast Lane."”
So how do you make your kids feel loved, acknowledged, and appreciated? There is, indeed, an App for that: it’s called a hug.