My wife and I have made the decision that the best gifts we can give our children are the gifts of travel and experience. Don’t get me wrong, we probably spoil them with toys and electronics. However, we don’t let these things dominate their lives. We have a strict policy of no i-Pads during the week. This means no YouTube videos and online games. We do allow some video games, but this is very limited. During the weekends, there is a time limit for videos and online games. Instead of screen time, we want them to go outside and play.
We have taken our boys on trips within our state and to other areas of the country. We take them to big cities and small towns. We take them to professional sporting events and we play our own games. We travel to the mountains and to the beach. We take them camping and to nice hotels. We get out-of-town for scheduled events or just to get away.
We want to experience life. We also know that great memories are being made. These experiences and memories cannot be found on a screen. When they are parents, we hope they do the same with their children.
As I write this, I also realize that I need to take my own advice. I need to limit the amount of time I spend looking at the screen. I need to enjoy the time I have with my boys and watch them grow-up. I need to turn off the screen and tune in to life.