Media and Personhood and Other Rambles of My Mind

Wed, 10/16/2013 - 13:01 — Carrie

Sometimes my thoughts get jumbled in my head and I have to write them down to make sense of them. Sometimes I write them down in my blog and you get to priviledge of reading them. This blog is one of those times. 

Be forewarned, I have no idea what I'm about to write and what conclusion I shall arrive at. 

There's a lot of talk these days around the internet about media and technology and paying attention to children. i.e., "Put down the smart phone and spend quality time with your children!"

This is a good principle. Sometimes, I get bored while playing with the kids and will pull out my phone and begin playing a game. And sometimes, S will look at me and ask very sadly "Carrie, can you please put da phone down and play with me now?!" I will guiltiy slide the phone back into my pocket and once again turn to play with her. Yup, I'm guilty of ignoring the kids in favor of my technology. 

But how far has this gone? This morning, I had a something I did need to get done on my phone that required memory and, since my phone is perpetually out of memory due to me taking long videos of the kids being generally cute, I had to hook my phone up to the computer and download all the pictures and videos from it so I would once again have space on my phone for what I needed to get done. 

This took awhile. Nearly an hour, in fact, since my original idea had been to upload the pics and videos to facebook (which failed, since there was no way to get the videos *off* facebook later) and then finally booting up my (very slow) computer and downloading the media. 

S was impatient. She wanted me to play a game with her. She wanted me to read a book to her. She wanted me to pay attention to her. And I felt horrible. I wanted to have time for her, I really did, but I also knew that if I didn't get this done on my phone then it wouldn't get done later. So I asked her to wait and please try and entertain herself for a little bit while I finished. And when I was done, I went back and we did play that game, and read that book, and I paid attention to her. 

So maybe I'm just justifying myself, but really, I don't think it's wrong to once in awhile ignore your kids a bit and get something done. Don't get me wrong, I firmly believe that children are far more important than things and projects and housework and all those other things that you want to get done. I'm all in favor of letting the dishes lie for a bit so you can read to your child. But if you do that, if you are a hands-on parent, if you read to them and play with them and engage in their lives, is it wrong to sometimes step back and tell them that your life doesn't actually compltetely revolve around them, and you don't actually exist solely for their pleasure? 

Children are precious. They are people, and ought to be respected and listened to as such. But I'm a person too. And I think it's healthy to let your children know that, while you will give up much for them, they need to respect that you, too are a person, and you, too have things you want to get done. And in teaching them this, perhaps we're teaching them to respect everyone as a person, and not just themselves. 

Hmm I hope that makes sense. 


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