Gone are the days when playing outside was the most excited part of the school holidays. Treat time meant an extra hour playing tag and knock down Ginger.
These days you will be hard pressed to find a child who doesn't have access to technology - a device that is permanently glued to their nose and the only 'toy' that will keep them entertained without screaming down the house to be quiet.
According to a Kaiser Foundation study conducted in 2010, children between the ages of eight and 18 spend an average of 7 hours 38 minutes a day with digital media!
From television to games consoles, mobiles to computers, interactive watches to portable devices - the child-friendly range has superseded the excitement of the outdoors.
But not in our house!
Call us traditional or outdated, with four children, technology would certainly keep them entertained for hours if we let them. But we don't. If we did, we would have ten times the mood swings, horrendous attitudes, and zombie like children whose responses would consist of one word replies.
Yes, we have televisions, kindles, laptops, DS consoles and a PlayStation 2 in the household but we have strict guidelines for them all. Does it work? Absolutely, and this is what we do:
Television - we have one TV which is hooked to Netflix and a DVD player only. Kids will probably watch 1-2 films a week (usually at the weekend) and a nature program in the week.
PlayStation 2 - was given to us by my gamer sister and has very rarely been used!
DS and Kindles - the kids may be given 'kindle' time at the weekend but for half an hour only - otherwise they get grumpy, moody and WW3 breaks out!
Laptops - our two eldest have laptops for homework only but again, given time limits when used.
And the rest of the time?
Our four kids play! Aged six, seven, nine and 11, all four play board games, draw or build Lego but more often or not, are found creating some bizarre storyline and acting it out - role play at its finest.
Picture sourced from www.unsplash.com (Daniel Cheung)
All four also read every bedtime and their love for books is astronomical!
They may have their mood swings at times, due to tiredness or their age, but it is nothing to the attitudes we see other children have, who are dominated by technology.
Technology may be superseding society - but it does not have to supersede your kid's childhood.
Grow their imagination instead of their technology knowledge and you'll be surprised at the change!
Picture sourced from www.unsplash.com (Jordan Whitt)