Raising Kids in a Tech Savvy World


We’ve all heard the statements from our parents and grandparents,

“Well in my day…”

I’ll admit that I’ve rolled my eyes a time or two(hundred) listening to the stories about how “when we were kids we played outside from sun up until sun down, and people used phones to talk to other people and that was it, and kids don’t know how to use their imaginations anymore, and kids don’t have any reason to have a phone, and kids these days spend too much time on electronics,” and on and on and on.

The reason I roll my eyes isn’t because I don’t agree with those statements, I mostly do, it is because I think this one simple thought,

“It’s not your day anymore.”

funny, respect, google, homework

We live in a tech savvy world, and it’s not slowing down.

Before I get into this, I want to be clear, I believe in BALANCE. I believe in kids playing outside and having screen time limits and eye to eye contact and all those good, wonderful things.  BUT…

We live in a tech savvy world, and it’s not slowing down.

It is our job as parents to prepare our kids for their future. Their future will not look like our past, and it most certainly won’t look like our parents’ past.  That doesn’t mean that we sit our kids in front of ipads and never push them outside, (BALANCE!) it means we teach them about using technology safely, appropriately, and wisely.

I read an article called “Why Steve Jobs Didn’t Let His Kids Use Ipads, And Why You Shouldn’t Either” and the title alone induced eye rolling. I think the idea of the article is just what I’m saying, BALANCE, but this line perturbed me:

“Especially in Silicon Valley, there is actually a trend of tech execs and engineers who shield their kids from technology. They even send their kids to non-tech schools like the Waldorf School in Los Altos, where computers aren’t found anywhere because they only focus on hands-on learning.”

I’m all for hands-on learning, don’t get me wrong, but are we doing a disservice to our kids when we take this all or nothing attitude? Let me play the devil’s advocate here…

Do these “tech execs and engineers” not want their kids to become, well, tech execs and engineers? Hands-on learning is AWESOME AND NEEDED but how will their kids acquire the skills needed for their future in this tech savvy world if they aren’t allowed to immerse themselves in technology, yes, even at a young age? Let me tell you something, if you wait until your kids are in high school and college to learn those skills, it will be too late.

My kids use ipads and laptops in their classes at school on a daily basis. Most of their homework is done online. I once had someone tell me that they would be not be happy about their kids being in front of a screen at school or doing homework online. “Whatever happened to paper worksheets?” Really? When my kids are “in front of a screen” at school or doing their homework online it is because they are being taught the basics of technology that they need to prepare for their future! They are learning about google docs, and power-point presentations, and doing research, and blogging, and social media, and internet safety, and SO MANY THINGS THAT WE USE TECHNOLOGY FOR IN OUR DAILY LIVES! Why would we limit our kids’ experiences with technology when we know that this is their future?!

calculator, math

My 11 year old was given a challenge at school to create something that could make a positive impact on the community by using math. The projects that the kids came up with varied from sewing blankets for the children’s hospital, to creating websites, to building things, to baking. My son chose to create an app which would prepare local football coaches to receive their safety certification through USA Football (a requirement to be a coach). He took two things that he is passionate about – football and computer coding – and used them for the good of his community.

This is his future. Would he have learned how to do this without using an iPad and being immersed in technology in his school day? Nope.

technology, kids, tech savvy

The “Steve Jobs” post I referred to above asked this question:

“Should we raise our children on technology?”

I don’t understand the question. “Should we prepare our kids for the world we are about to hand them or just tell them to go outside and use their imagination all day every day and hope they figure it out when they get to college?” Obviously I’m exaggerating here, and again, BALANCE, but why wouldn’t we raise our children on technology? How will they be prepared for high school, and college, and the future job force if we don’t?

I am totally the mom who will tell her kids to go outside and play and don’t even get me started if they use the word bored, but I will also teach my kids by example about creating boundaries with their electronics, encourage tech-friendly learning and experiences, and yes – even playing video games.

When we teach our kids about technology we prepare them for their future. When we teach them about balance we prepare them for life. When we allow our kids to embrace the world that we are about to hand over to them, we are being good parents. I don’t think it’s ok to tell tech savvy parents that we’re doing it wrong.

Bill Gates might not let his kids play with iPads, but I do, and they just might be taking his place one day.


  1. […] Just as I was beginning to freak out about how to manage my kids’ screen time, I came across an article in Family Circle magazine. It basically says that we shouldn’t be stressing out about setting time limits on screen time because technology has become embedded in our lives. Instead, we need to encourage our children to consume a healthy media diet. While it’s fine for them to play games and watch videos purely for fun, they also need to be using educational tools online. It’s all about a healthy balance. […]


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