Electronics Part II
Last week we heard from a frustrated father regarding his children and their addiction to electronics. I had asked everyone to share their opinions, and I received many blog posts, and over 150 e-mail replies. I compiled all of the ideas together as best as possible, and, Baruch Hashem, it seems there is hope if we play our cards right.
On Wednesday morning, I was sitting in Yeshiva when two boys walked in. The boy who came in first turned to his friend and said to him as follows: (please forgive the run-on sentence), “I am attacking with the baby dragon on the highest level combined with the prince, because the baby dragon has blast damage and the only thing that can stop the prince is blast damage, so unless he also has a fully upgraded baby dragon to counteract mine, I’m unstoppable!”
I told this boy, “I remember learning about a dragon in the Gemara, I think in Avoda Zara!” He looked and me and said “Rebbe, this is really serious stuff I’m discussing!” It just validated my concerns, namely that electronics have switched from a fun outlet to a destructive and/or obsessive habit.
In order to understand the issue better, I think we need to take a step back and see where it’s coming from. We all like to blame our society or our schools and communities. However, I asked over 30 boys during the week, and they all felt that their parents were also addicted to their cellphones. Here are five questions that can help you figure out if you’re one of them:
So, what is there to do about this? Obviously, you need to understand that if you’re constantly on your phone, holding your phone or checking your phone, your children will not view the phone as something negative, rather they will perceive it as a normal and acceptable way of life. In order to address our children’s addiction with the iPad, cellphone or electronics, it would be prudent to work on ourselves and try to limit the amount of time we use and check our phones. That being said, if your children are doing well in Yeshiva, have friends, and are easy going, you may not need to do anything. If, however, you feel that your kids are hooked on electronics, these next 18 ideas are for you. Thank you again to the many people who helped with this.
Remember, some of these ideas might work for your family, and some not. See which works best for you. Keep in mind that this will not be easy. However, if you’re consistent, you will be successful!
With the help of Hashem, we will continue to raise our children to be Mentchen.
Have a great Shabbos.
5/19/2016 08:15:12 pm
I've been waiting for this article for a few hours already. What's the delay? Joke. This is fascinating information. Thank You!
5/19/2016 08:24:36 pm
Wonderful ideas. I'm going to keep in touch and let you know what happens.
5/19/2016 08:28:20 pm
Oh No! I'm addicted to my phone. I chose YES to 3 out of the 5. How can I expect my kids to stop if I can't?
5/19/2016 11:04:15 pm
Short Answer? You can't. You need to show your children that you're taking it seriously as well.
5/19/2016 08:29:44 pm
Rabbi Ross. There are many fantastic points in this article. Well Done.
5/19/2016 08:39:28 pm
I as well waited all week for this. This is such a wonderfully written article, and it'll be really useful. I am forwarding to all my friends.
5/19/2016 08:56:33 pm
I and many other people am guilty of #18. It's really bad. I need to lock it up when I drive.
5/19/2016 09:12:24 pm
I feel like emailing this to my daughters school. It's a real epidemic.
5/19/2016 09:26:57 pm
I think that you included enough material in here for everyone to be satisfied. Great Stuff.
5/19/2016 09:44:33 pm
Rabbi Ross. Tavo Alecha Bracha. You have take on a difficult task, and have done a great job. These phones are destroying society.
5/19/2016 11:02:58 pm
I'm greatly enjoying these articles. This one is really powerful, especially considering the danger of these devices. I also failed your addiction test. Where did you find it?
5/19/2016 11:06:14 pm
I'm glad you're enjoying. I made up the addiction test myself - but I'm assuming most people understand the point I'm making. We're in the same boat as the kids.
5/20/2016 05:19:47 am
You make many valid points here. I really try to give good alternatives, and I have a rain only policy. You have never seen kids Daven for rain like mine.
5/20/2016 08:23:02 am
It's very important that parents take your 6th idea seriously. Many a Yiddishe child has turned on a device on Shabbos, and that can begin a serious downward spiral. Wonderful job on these emails.
5/20/2016 09:29:12 am
It would be great if the schools would educate the kids about the dangers of the electronics. Coming from a parent, many things are "wrong". From a school, not so much.
5/20/2016 05:14:30 pm
That's an interesting point. However, many would disagree with that concept. I know of many families where the parents carry a lot more weight that the Yeshivos.
5/20/2016 11:38:48 am
You attack the issues head on.
5/20/2016 01:57:27 pm
This was the best article I've read in a long time. So many great points. Thanks!
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Rabbi Yitzie Ross is a Rebbe and has been working with parents and kids for many years. You can read more about him in the "about" section.