Raising Natural Kids in a High-Tech World

I imagine it has always been difficult raising natural kids. I imagine it’s never been easy to hop onto the natural train, doing things that go against the grain of society. It seems in our world, we’re always trying to find a new and better, easier, albeit not always right, way of doing things. It seems we have flowed back and forth, to and fro, a natural lifestyle. I have to believe mothers have been fighting their children’s interest in the latest gadgets for years upon years, including the radio and then the early tv’s. My generation has seen the tv’s advance, become leaner, thinner, more efficient. We have seen gaming systems go from new to high tech to interactive with other players far and away. We have seen movies geared towards small children go from innocent and moral to adult and raunchy at times.

So while I imagine mothers have always struggled to keep their children’s pure innocence intact, I feel like the struggle has only intensified in recent years. Now kids have computers, tv’s, and gaming counsels in their own rooms. Many kids begin carrying cell-phones under the age of ten.

What happened? I remember fighting with my mom just to get a radio in my room! Today I am finding the battle becoming stronger as I fight to keep my children’s innocence pure and protected while also allowing them to explore a small degree of this technology rage. On the one-hand, I know it is advantageous to teach my nearly six year old how to type, but I refuse to allow him to become a member of a social networking site. And although they know how to work a dvd player, I refuse to allow them to play on a gaming system. I struggle with the internet: monitored and highly secured, there are some awesome learning tools.

But what happened with simply playing with your toys?

We recently read a book together, my three boys and I, and they referenced a spinning top. My kids had no clue what that was, and it made me sad. There is something to be had in the simple innocence of plain childhood toys. They harken to a time when obesity wasn’t the norm, mass school shootings were non-existent, and offensive music would never be aired on the radio.

It doesn’t help that we live in a temperate climate; our seasons have extreme hot and cold. There are times when it’s too cold for the kids to be outdoors, and then there are times when it’s too bright to allow them unlimited access to the sunshine. But on those good days…on those beautiful days….

My kids love hiking through the woods. There is something magical in the croak of a frog early in the summer, or the sound of crickets in the woods beside you on a warm summer night. They love to watch the earth worms wiggle on the ground below them after a warm spring rain and blaze through the vibrant orange and red leaves on a crisp fall afternoon.

Some days, I manage to get it right. We turn off the tv. We pull out a stack of books. And we read just for the sake of getting excited about learning something new. And those days? Priceless.

About Jen Salowitz

I am a mama to 3 boys. I strive to live a greener, healthier live while preserving my children’s innocence. I enjoy reading, learning more about natural birth and health-care, and playing the piano!