Is Giving Your Kid A Phone Really That Awful?

Is Giving Your Kid A Phone Really That Awful?

You can’t bring a kid into to an ever increasing technological society and deprive them of technology.

I was listening to the radio the other night – yes radios stations still exist – and the host was discussing the topic of giving your children access to tablets, phones, computers, etc. He opened up this question to his viewers and I was expecting at least a few people to say it was okay; instead, every single parent that called in spoke as if the internet was a gateway drug.

Listen, you have never felt true bliss until you hand your kid a tablet, sit them on the couch next to you, and switch the television over from Nick Jr to something a little more “adult”. Like a hockey game so you can watch your team lose for the fourth time in a week, but that’s a much angrier article for another week.

Do you know how long it’s been since I got to watch something on television – before midnight – that wasn’t asking me to do math or which shapes fit in which hole?

Too damn long.

I mean I get it. Parents want their kids to socialize and be active and contribute to society or whatever. And that’s great, really. Kids need to interact with other kids and they need to stay active; I’m not protesting against those ideas. I’m just saying that it’s possible for your kids to have it all.

When Dylan, my daughter, starts elementary school I expect her to be working with technology immediately. It’s the world we live in. Your kids are without a doubt going to interact with the internet at school. So, if they’ve never played with a tablet before they’re going to be behind before they even make it through the door.

You can’t bring a kid into to an ever-increasing technological society and deprive them of technology. Dylan spends a lot of time on my phone. I use this time to clean, complete coursework, or just breathe for three seconds, because children take a lot out of you.

This doesn’t mean she’s always on my phone; she’d much rather go outside than stare at a screen for an hour. Like last night when she stared longingly out into the night and asked: “mama can we go see the moon”? And I had to tell her “no Dylan it’s ridiculously cold outside and your allergies are terrible.”

She has a good balance of being familiar with technology but understanding other things are more important – unless her father’s calling and she’s watching Elmo, then her priorities get a little muddled.

And Dylan’s like a baby genius with the phone. She knows where YouTube is, knows how to pause and play videos, and how to clear my notifications off the screen. She’s basically an Apple maestro. I don’t mind it, because she sees how much time her father and I dedicate to our phones and so playing with one seems like the norm.

Her father and I could police how much time each of us is spending on our phones but seeing as how I’ve got friends hours away from me, a mother who loves to tag me on Facebook posts, and I just enjoy being connected; I don’t see that happening.

So Dylan’s going to have a tablet, but she’s also going to play outside, and she’s also going to shove Peppa Pig and Doc McStuffins figurines in my face and make me play pretend for an hour. She’s a cultured kid. As long as it doesn’t become too much I really don’t see the harm in letting my daughter have her ‘internet’ time. It keeps us both happy.

Cover Image Credit: Jelleke Vanooteghem

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To The Girl Who Had A Plan

A letter to the girl whose life is not going according to her plan.
“I am the master of my fate: I am the captain of my soul.” - William Ernest Henley

Since we were little girls we have been asked, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” We responded with astronauts, teachers, presidents, nurses, etc. Then we start growing up, and our plans change.

In middle school, our plans were molded based on our friends and whatever was cool at the time. Eventually, we went to high school and this question became serious, along with some others: “What are your plans for college?” “What are you going to major in?” “When do you think you’ll get married?” “Are you going to stay friends with your friends?” We are bombarded with these questions we are supposed to have answers to, so we start making plans.

Plans, like going to college with our best friends and getting a degree we’ve been dreaming about. Plans, to get married as soon as we can. We make plans for how to lose weight and get healthy. We make plans for our weddings and children.

SEE ALSO: 19 Pieces Of Advice From A Soon-To-Be 20-Year-Old

We fill our Pinterest boards with these dreams and hopes that we have, which are really great things to do, but what happens when you don’t get into that college? What happens when your best friend chooses to go somewhere else? Or, what if you don’t get the scholarship you need or the awards you thought you deserved. Maybe, the guy you thought you would marry breaks your heart. You might gain a few pounds instead of losing them. Your parents get divorced. Someone you love gets cancer. You don’t get the grades you need. You don’t make that collegiate sports team. The sorority you’re a legacy to, drops you. You didn’t get the job or internship you applied for. What happens to you when this plan doesn’t go your way?

I’ve been there.

The answer for that is “I have this hope that is an anchor for my soul.” Soon we all realize we are not the captain of our fate. We don’t have everything under control nor will we ever have control of every situation in our lives. But, there is someone who is working all things together for the good of those who love him, who has a plan and a purpose for the lives of his children. His name is Jesus. When life takes a turn you aren’t expecting, those are the times you have to cling to Him the tightest, trusting that His plan is what is best. That is easier said than done, but keep pursuing Him. I have found in my life that His plans were always better than mine, and slowly He’s revealing that to me.

The end of your plan isn’t the end of your life. There is more out there. You may not be the captain of your fate, but you can be the master of your soul. You can choose to be happy despite your circumstances. You can change directions at any point and go a different way. You can take the bad and make something beautiful out of it, if you allow God to work in your heart.

SEE ALSO: To The Girl Patiently Waiting With An Impatient Heart

So, make the best of that school you did get in to. Own it. Make new friends- you may find they are better than the old ones. Apply for more scholarships, or get a job. Move on from the guy that broke your heart; he does not deserve you. God has a guy lined up for you who will love you completely. Spend all the time you can with the loved one with cancer. Pray, pray hard for healing. Study more. Apply for more jobs, or try to spend your summer serving others instead. Join a different club or get involved in other organizations on campus. Find your delight first in God and then pursue other activities that make you happy; He will give you the desires of your heart.

My friend, it is going to be OK.

Cover Image Credit: Megan Beavers Photography

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I'm Not Feelin' 22, But I'll Make The Most Of It

The reality of becoming another year older and the stress that it may bring.


Birthdays are all about being the center of attention, - birthday wishes from friends and family, and celebrating another milestone in your life. People go out of their way to buy party favors, set up parties, and buy gifts just to make someone feel special on their birthday. However, some people dread their special day because of anxiety and depression. This past weekend was my 22ndbirthday, and although I'm usually excited for my birthday, this was the birthday I had been dreading.

Birthdays are inevitable. Once you reach past the age of 21, everything seems to go downhill, or at least I think so. Once I realized I was going to be 22 last Sunday, I realized the new responsibilities and norms that come with turning this age. I am a Junior at the University of Arizona, should be a senior, and most of my friends are younger than me. With most of my friends graduating this year at the age of 22, I can't help but feel bad that I will be graduating at the age of 23. After being at a large university for three years, I have felt "behind" because of my age and academic standing. Being the oldest of my friends brings a sense of anxiety out in me and pressure that I should be graduated by now.

Another issue I have with birthdays at this age is the expectation of certain milestones that I have not accomplished yet. With social media being such a large part of our society today, seeing so many different people on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter posting pictures of what they are doing every second of the day, it's hard not to feel bad if you are not up to par with others lives. Some people are having babies, while others are going to medical school, where do I fit in?

Although birthdays bring some sense of negativity to me, I think that they should be celebrated in a positive light. My best friend, Colleen, knew I was feeling down about my birthday and wanted to help me feel better about turning the big 2-2. She bought balloons, silly string, and letter banners just to decorate our apartment to make me feel excited about the day. She bought me the most unique presents that only a best friend would know I would have wanted. At the end of the day, we went to my favorite restaurant and with the help of Colleen, my day had turned around.

While you may catch the birthday blues at some point in your lifetime, there are ways to change your attitude on the day. You may hear from someone from the past wishing you a happy birthday that can make you smile, or receive a gift from a family or friend that you had your eye on in the store and they knew you had to have it. Don't compare yourself to others when it comes to birthday plans, live the day how you would like and spend it with the people that matter most to you.

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