person texting

Balancing Technology In Our Lives

By Officer Ryan Dietrich, School Resource Officer at Carl Ben Eielson

The relationship between technology and our kids is amazing, yet sometimes horrible.  We all love technology, but at times I wish we didn’t have so much access.

I remember growing up and working all summer for my dad.  Nobody had cell phones, so we planned our days in advance, and if something happened, we dealt with it.  At the end of the day when I would get home, someone would check the answering machine and write down messages. My twin brother and I would often play outside or find something to do in the house if the weather was bad; we rarely sat in front of a television.  We would play games before school or just talk to our friends.  Now when I walk around the school campus, I see entire tables staring at their iPhone or whatever device they may have with them.

Now I have my own kids and I love being around them.  Like with everyone else, life is busy. I work two jobs and my kids are busy in activities.  I noticed over the last couple years my wife and I passed down our old smart phones and devices to the kids, which include an iPad, laptop.  One night I looked around the room and everyone was staring at something and nobody was talking. This made me reflect on what I was seeing. So, I tried something.  I grabbed a board game and set it up on the living room table.  My kid’s eyes lit up and we had a blast playing games.  I also notice the bedtime routine went from a huge fight of taking away their device to now my kids saying, “love you daddy, thanks for playing with me.”

Whatever your day-to-day ritual consists of, take time out and have some fun with your kids.