Fear. While it has the potential to keep us safe, it also has the potential for us, parents, to be make decisions which are not beneficial or which can at least stunt positive improvement for us, our children and family. Fear can especially drive our decisions when it comes to our children using various forms of technology. Technology is seemingly changing so quickly that it is difficult for a busy caregiver to keep up with it all and to understand how it works and will effect our family.
I was fortunate to be able to take part in a private discussion with video game reviewer, Keri Barone, during a monthly online event held for Transfiguring Adoption’s Premium Media subscribers. During the discussion I had a moment of discovery as an adoptive parent. Many times when one of our game reviewers create a review or I’m hosting them for a discussion, we tend to end up talking about many of the fears that speak to parents. Why?
Many parents simply do not have the time to research the technology and themes in various games. Also, games are becoming more and more reliable on WIFI connections which usually means that players are able to connect with other players throughout the world. When parenting children from traumatic backgrounds, who are quick to be attracted to anyone who will offer them attention, this can be unsettling. This opens a door wide open for cyber-bullying, sexting or even paedophiles – all of those thoughts are honest fears which make me immediately want to ban game systems from my home.
Why Should I Offer Technology To My Children? Why Shouldn’t I Just Ban It?
- Normalizing Childhood
Children from foster care or adoption often feel as though they are misfits or as though they cannot fit in with their peers. While making a ban of video games from my home might be a simple way to address my concerns and fears, it might further make my child fee separated from their peers at school and other social areas.
- Learn To Use Technology
Our culture is only embracing technology more and more as the years go by. It overall does a disservice to my child if will not allow them to be in contact with various (and age appropriate) technologies. From my experience children from traumatic backgrounds are behind the curve when it comes to academia as moving from place to place has made it so that they have not been able to focus on education but instead merely focus on survival.
- Real Life Lessons
It’s true that I could ban technology from my home to assure my child stays safe. However, as we discussed above, my child WILL have to learn how to use technology at some point to function in our technology dependent culture. The argument can be made that it would be better for them to learn under my guidance. As a parent, I can show them how to properly engage with people online, teach them about information that is appropriate to share with strangers, etc. Without me my child will still learn the various of online lessons BUT they might be learning them after getting burned.
- Healing Discussions
Video games allow our family to engage in conversations about a variety of themes and characters through an experience our child is already interested in. For example, Keri was able to tell us through our private online discussion that the game, Animal Crossing, features a phenomenon where villagers in our community might wish to leave the community. This allows you, the caregiver, to have a conversation about how the other villagers feel about someone leaving. This can then be moved to a conversation about how people in real life might cope when a person has to leave. Eventually, the conversation can be turned to talk to your child about how they feel being away from their birth family.
I found that after discussing the video game, Animal Crossing, with our video game reviewer that I felt more confident about allowing my children to play the game. I learned a few of the “dangers” that might arise if my children play the game. However, now that I’m educated on the pitfalls of the game, I can easily employ a plan to overcome them. I more importantly feel more empowered to be able to talk with my child about positive issues that I want to discuss with them anyways. I have been quickly educated so that I better understand something something that would have caused me to fearfully react. Now, I can successfully help my child to take an experience and be more prepared for the future.
I hope you can join our community of parents who are being shown how to use movie, books, and video games to connect with their kids. Follow the link below to learn more about Transfiguring Adoption’s service – they have a FREE download sample of one of their reviews so you can see how much these help. When you sign up for the service you also get a FREE E-packet worth $15 that shows you how to look for trauma triggers in movies and video games. Plus, you can get the first month of the $12 per month service free with you use the coupon code: 1STFREE – this gives you a month to look through their full database of reviewed media. I’ll see you in the at the next Premium Member discussion.