It’s The “Little” Things That Matter: Technology and Children


By Rhonda Nemri

I am no parent, but do hope to be one someday. Therefore the statements I am about to say are in no shape or form based on personal parenting, but more so the observations of parents and children that I encounter from time to time. I’m not a child psychologist or pediatrician, but I have a fair amount of common sense. I grew up with four other siblings, and had opportunities to help my mother watch over my three younger sisters. I wasn’t even good at it, but I had to keep an “eye” on them. I have taken babysitting opportunities for some of my cousin’s children. The fact that I was even trusted with no children of my own, is an honor. The techniques and style of parenting has changed over the years. You have the hovering parents, and then you have the parents that are at ease with difficult situations. But what has been lingering in my brain for some time are the parents that are not using common sense. But what does it even mean today to have common sense? I believe that saying has changed a bit. I am taking into account the perspective of how I was raised and how other family members were raised. Also just things that are clearly obvious of what to do.

The most irritating thing happening right now is the carelessness of parenting. I do understand that some parents may not have the means to support their children and give them what they want. Possibly they never learned the simple things of what to do. However, I speak about the parents who utilize technology on a daily basis, causing them to disconnect from their child on an emotional and physical level. I have spent most of my undergraduate and graduate studies studying the way humans communicate and the effects of technology. So why not apply this to children as well? I am positive there are countless research studies on this problem, but I would like to take it in the perspective of observer, and share my thoughts. Adults are not the only ones communicating. We take a huge responsibility of teaching our children how to speak properly. Handing an infant a phone or an iPad should not, and I repeat should NOT be your last resort to get your child to listen to you. There is something called discipline and consequences. The amount of “educational” shows out there is infesting our children’s mind in this repetitive motion, and inadequately gives them the opportunity to really look at you and learn to speak to you. I must admit that Barney and friends was one of my favorites to watch, but I had limitations. Parenting has become boxed into the idea of carelessness and laziness. Food options have become chicken nuggets and fries. Bedtime is not in an actual bed. Play time is using a phone to play a game. I’m really scared for our future. This does not mean you don’t love your child, but it just means that you’re not paying attention. We have to be attentive as individuals and help our children grow into respectable and knowledgeable human beings. I give credit to the parents who work all day and still manage to make it home and spend time with their children. Being a parent has to be the most selfless thing. Your child comes first! Not you! You can still take care of yourself, but your child is YOUR priority. From the food they eat, to the shows they watch. No one is asking you to suffocate them, but you must be 10, even 20 steps ahead of them. Or else you’ll end up with the disobedient child, or the aggressive child that won’t sit down and just listen.

“Technology changes the way kids socialize and interact with others, which can have huge impacts on their mental and emotional well-being. It has now become common knowledge that high levels of social media use, in both kids and adults, can lower self-esteem and create negative moods. However, all types of technology can actually have negative effects on children when used in excess, because they lower children’s frequency of interacting with their peers. This makes it more difficult for them to pick up on social cues and develop meaningful relationships with others — something that can have serious negative consequences as they grow and develop. They also have a difficult time developing emotions the same way other kids would if they spend too much of their time with technology and not enough time being engaged while in the presence of others” (Dhruvin Patel, 2017).

As adults we are always on our phones, from checking Facebook posts and snap chat stories. We are constantly feeling we have to be connected with everyone. You can take a thousand great pictures a day, but that picture does not give the full story. If adults are constantly on their phones and not communicating, then why would a child want to do anything else but be on a phone? I see children with newer phones, and toys that are meaningless. What happened to the old school flash cards to learn ABC’s and 123’s. We do have to adapt to change, and change is apparent. However, not when it is brainwashing yours and your child’s mind. This is in no way discrediting parents who do what they are supposed to do, or utilize technology. But as I stated, there has to be limitations and rules. Parents should be a team, and have each other’s backs. If this is something that is lacking, then there will always be a dysfunction in the family. It is not about who is right, it is about what is right for your child.

So do yourself a favor, and as parents or future parents give your child what you would give yourself. If you don’t care for your child then you don’t care for yourself, and vice versa. Let’s not get sucked into technology and use it as a backup plan to get your child to focus. What’s making them lose focus is that phone that you carry in your hands all day long. So of course they want a piece of it too. I have a baby niece, and she means the world to me. I would absolutely hate if anything happened to her. Perhaps she is the reason why I have come to discuss such a topic, because for once in my life I have taken a role as “caretaker”, and helping out in ways I never thought I would. I am just an auntie right now, and I can give my niece back to her parents at any time. I don’t have the full-time experience of having children, but most of this is “Common Sense”. If you have spent most of your single and child-free life pampering yourself, you can do the same for that cute little bundle of joy that you call your own.  Get your children off Instagram and Snap Chat, and give them more than just a screen spewing things that are not always beneficial. If my mother did it without phones and technology, so can you!


Concerned Childless Auntie 



Resisting Fear, Loving More

love and fear

What have we learned from our horrible experiences? Has it made us stronger? Or has it completely taken over our lives? It can most certainly be both. Some experiences are easy to hide and you hardly ever go back to the memory of that experience. However, there are certain things that one goes through that feels impossible to get over. I am guilty of living in the past, and letting it get the best of me. However, I tend to find it very comforting to know there is one or two people that I can go to, to express my feelings. What I have learned is that even though you have those people to go to, they will not necessarily grasp the entirety of your feelings and emotions. So what do we do? From my experience, withholding your feelings is not the best thing. Therefore, seek help when help is needed. A good listener can take you a long way. My goal is to not predict outcomes in my head, and to just let it be.

I recently read a book “Love is Letting Go of Fear” by author Gerald G. Jampolsky, M.D. This book was published in 1979, and I was pretty amazed by how relatable it was to me. Given the book is dated, it is still relevant to how we tend to behave during good or bad experiences. One of my most relatable parts of this book is the following.

We often believe that the fears of the past can successfully predict the fears of the future. The result of this type of thinking are that we spend most of our time worrying about both the past and future, creating a vicious cycle of fear, which leaves little room for Love and joy in the present (Jampolsky 20).”

One of the things I will keep asking myself after reading this quote is, am I going to go on with my day with peace of mind or conflict? I believe I deal with a lot of conflict, but tend to want the outcomes to be peaceful. We need to be more conscious about what we  choose to have as our conflicts, as not all conflicts are necessary to dwell on. When people lash out or hurt others, it is because they have fear.  Fear is the most nauseating thing to experience. You can wake up with it, and go to sleep with it. It will eat you alive. We react negatively due to fear. We fear of losing, we fear of loving, and/or we fear of failing. These are all legitimate things to fear, but should not consume our lives. Again, I am nowhere saying I have resolved all my conflict and fears, but I am getting there slowly but surely.

We need to be more open to helping those in need, and being there for the people that matter. One of the major key points I have learned over the years, and throughout the readings, is that forgiveness is a significant factor in how we proceed with our lives. Forgiveness is not to say the other person gets a free pass. It is allowing yourself to move forward, and not hold all the bitterness inside, allowing it to take over you. I have forgiven many people, but I am well aware that they have hurt me or disregarded me during that moment. But, I should not hold on to it forever, and live a bitter life. People make mistakes, and so do I. I am sure I have done something inconsiderate to someone, and they have forgiven me. I am no better than them. If they have not forgiven me, then I can’t make them. This is something they have to choose to do on their own. We can also choose to forgive people, and not have them in our lives. But if we continue to keep them in our lives we should not focus on what they have done to us, but rather how they have proceeded after the conflict or mishap. Most of all we need to forgive ourselves, and keep working on bettering ourselves.

Authored By: Rhonda N.

Do They Know?



Do they know? Do they feel? Do they wonder? Do they see? Do they expect? Do they have hope? Do they still love? These questions all surround one explicit idea, and inevitable part of our lives. The dying.

How hard it must be to come to reality that you will not get better. How terrifying it must be to know there is a chance you will one day take your last breath unexpectedly. Just that small ounce of hope they have. That look they give you that they have given up.

The most petrifying look you can see in their eyes. Would they still be here if they would have tried a little harder, or was this it? It was that last look you gave that you may not return home. The sickness that made you weaker. The sickness that took your strength. The sickness that made you doubt. The sickness that made you cry. The sickness that made you lose yourself. The sickness that left your family within darkness. The sickness that took you away. The difficulties to look before your last days. The difficulties it has been to accept, but regardless move forward. You were smart, and you didn’t kid yourself. You knew. You felt. You accepted it, without us knowing you did. You tried to be stronger, but it took over you. The last days of your life were the most difficult, because it was supposed to be the road to your recovery. But instead it was to a dark, and unsettling road. It was your destiny. It was your story coming to an end, but your memory to an eternal life.

Your eyes had darkness, your heart of gold.
Your sounds of love, your feelings of old.
You whispered in my ear, you are strong.
I looked to your eyes, and hymned your song.
The song of strength. The song of your life.
Despite your end, we still stand.
Never forget you, as we still hold your hand.
Your memories are forever ours.
As each one of us were your stars.
A father we loved together with those days.
Together as a family we made our ways.
As we still remember in our lives.
We think of you still standing by our side.

In Loving Memory of My Father July 26, 1960-June 8th, 2013

From Bonds to Chains