In a recent parent-teacher meeting at the school my children attend, parents shared their concern about how the use of technology and mobile, internet-connected devices are affecting the way our children socialize. We don't want the Internet of things to consume our children's lives. And I thought of how I use technology in my personal and family life.
I am reminded of a story that I heard about Gandhi and sugar. A woman traveled a great distance to visit Gandhi and asked for his advice. She told Gandhi that her son eats too much sugar. He's addicted to it. She can't stop him from eating so much sugar. She asked for his advice on what to say to her son to make him stop eating sugar.
Gandhi thought about it for a while and replied, "Come back in a week." A bit taken aback at the response, the woman turned away disappointed. But she did return the next week. She asked Gandhi again for advice on what to say to her son who keeps eating too much sugar. Gandhi replied, "Come back in a week." Again, the woman turned away disappointed, but did what she was told. This went on for another two more weeks.
After a month of traveling back and forth to visit Gandhi, the women asked again for advice. Gandhi finally replied with advice, "Tell your son to stop eating sugar." The woman was shocked. "That's it?" the woman asked. "That's your advice for me? I've traveled back and forth for weeks to hear your thoughtful advice, and that's it? Stop eating sugar. What took you so long for such as simple piece of advice?" the woman asked Gandhi.
Gandhi said, "Before I can give advice about not eating sugar, I first had to learn how to stop eating sugar myself."
So, I'm learning to be more mindful about how my wife and I use technology in our personal lives, around the home, with our friends, and in front of the kids. Before I can teach my child how technology can affect my child's social life, I first have to learn and live that life lesson.
Let's Be Great Examples
Parents are the living examples from whom children learn how to live. Let's be great examples for our children in speech, in conduct, in love, in believing, and in mindfulness (1 Timothy 4:12).
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