Yesterday I hang out with my friends whom 8-9 years older than me, we were talking about gadget when one of them told us he wanted to buy a tablet PC for his children.
“to play games, so they wont touch my laptop” he said.
Although that wasnt the first time I hear a parent buying expensive gadget to his/her children, but I cant help to wonder.
My BF once proposed the possibility of raising children in his hometown, Belitung; a small island with wonderful scenery, but not much of technology and development (compared to big city like Jakarta or even Medan). Naturally I objected him at that time, saying I wanted to make sure that the children get all the facilities and technology they need for education and good life.
But seeing it now, I think his idea makes sense. Maybe kids nowadays are too spoiled. They easily get such expensive items that exceed their needs and capability.
My father was particularly strict about giving expensive gadget to his kids. I got my first mobile phone only when I was in Senior highschool, that mobilephone was my mom’s, then she gave it to me so it was kinda out of date;black and white display while other kids have the colour ones. Officially my dad bought me a sophisticated mobile phone months after that, it was initially given for him by his colleague, but he gave it to me instead. Unfortunately, the phone was stolen from me 3 months later. I cried and cried, and felt terribly guilty. My dad told me “I’ve fulfilled my duty to buy you a phone, now if you want to have one, go buy yourself”
At first I thought it was impossible. But then I saved up money, and with the little help of my dad who knew my intention, I finally got a new phone. Not as fancy as before, but decent enough. I think because it comes from my hardwork that I felt so proud of it.
Anyway, seeing how I managed to buy my own phone, my siblings have some sense that they need to follow my way if they want to have a phone. As the first child, I’ve set a benchmark for them.
My parents are still strict about buying expensive gadget to their kids. Partly because they are technology inept, and partly because they wanted to teach us how difficult real life is.
I think their approach is quite effective. Because up until now, everytime I wanted to buy a new gadget, the first question I asked to my self is whether I really need it. So when other people bought new hi-tech laptop, I am satisfied with my netbook. Afterall, i only need internet, ms. Office, some simple games and movie player.
The only sophisticated and latest gadget that I have right now is iPhone 4S. That is also because I need the camera (as I dont have any right now), iphone is the only phone i know so far that can be used in both Japan and Indonesia, and because I can pay it in installment here. If not, I wouldnt care purchasing such phone to begin with.
Back to the original topic, nowadays I saw how parents are more lenient in letting their children to have a lot of new gadget; not only game console, but also communication gadget. They even bought their kids a laptop just for playing zombie vs plants or download some Justin Bieber’s pics!
I dont get it, really.
Mind you, but I strongly opposed such notion, for several reasons:
1. They will not learn the value of hardwork
2. Grow the habit of “showing off” or “jealousy” when they compare themselves with another kids
3. Misuse of technology (i.e prone to be exposed to pornography, violence)
4. Most importantly, they will spend most of their chilhood times with gadget than out with their friends doing some real activities
I am not saying that I will not equip my future children with gadget, nor I reject the positive side of having it. Not at all. But if I am gonna buy them gadget later, I will make sure they know why they need it, how the gadget is valuable to them and I will buy the ones that suit their needs; not merely buying the most expensive and latest one.
Honestly speaking, I’d prefer my kids to be interested in bakery, cooking, music, sport, dance, or some activities where they can do it together with friends and learn how to socialize than being absorbed too much in BBM, chat, funny sites or Justin Bieber’s fanbase.
Of course it will be different if their interests are computer coding, blogging or developing some program. Bottom line is, I want him/her to show me how serious he/she is with it before equipping him/her with technology he/she needs. And lately, I’d still drag him/her to some parks or zoo from time to time to make sure he/she sees the real world.
Well, I am not saying that my way is the best one, or it will always have the result that I am expected. But I am learning from my experience and others, and hope that it will be good for my future kids. Of course it shouldnt be rigid and no such a thing as solid as stone; any changes are always possible to suit the time and situation.