As my family and I were driving home from a vacation, I couldn’t help but think about the evolution of family road trips. Not too long ago, kids and parents would all talk to each other during the long car rides. Now, they pile into the car with their cell phones, iPods, iPads in hand and the rest of the trip is spent preoccupied and not talking with the people sitting next to them. It’s a much quieter ride for sure, however, part of me is concerned what we are teaching our children.
Those little screens are fun and hard to ignore, even for adults. When we are using technology, we are not always interacting with each other. And given how difficult it can be for families to find some good quality time to spend with each other, having technology cut into those moments is something parents may want to consider controlling as much as possible.
But how can our kids learn if the adults around them aren’t exactly modeling the best behavior? If we as parents are texting and emailing in front of them,why wouldn’t our kids grow up doing the same thing? The difference is that most of us adults grew up without all of these gizmos, so somewhere inside, we know it’s rude to ignore the people we’re with to talk to people or text people who may not be present.
We as parents have a responsibility. In our always connected culture we have to remember to be present with those around us and that “face to face” is always better than “handheld to handheld” interaction. Remember, etiquette is all about learning to fit in, respecting each other and enjoying yourself in social situations.