Raising Children in an E-Mail World

by Mimi Doe
(c) 2000 Mimi Doe
All rights in all media reserved

Kids long for connection, and technology is fulfilling that desire by allowing them access to worlds beyond their own neighborhoods. But with this vast expansion of opportunity comes a need for balance and consciousness.

If our child is exploring nature through vividly graphic internet sites without running barefoot in the backyard or spying on birds building their nests, there is no balance.

When our teenagers connect with cyber pals thousands of miles away but don't take the time to toss a few balls with the kids next door, they don't have the experiential opportunity to know people in all their complexity.

Children are huge spirits housed in little bodies. Nourish these precious spirits and your own soul will be filled.

Try at least one of the following tips sometime in the next week. You will begin to see a shift in everyone's attitude.

1. Take time to connect as a family. Dazzling technology can diminish the worth of humans. Make your family time count.

2. Put the TV in a place that takes some effort to reach instead of allowing it to take center stage in your home. Your computer, on the other hand, goes in a central place so that technology is part of the family's group experience rather than a solo activity.

3. Designate this week as We Care Week. Each family member does one caring thing a day for his or her secret recipient.

4. Frequently remind your kids how grateful you are they were born.

5. Pick one day a month as FAMILY DAY. Mark them on your calendar and begin planning now for all twelve magical days.

6. Don't forget the wonderful habit of note writing. Leave some unexpected words of encouragement in a lunch box, under a pillow. If you travel, begin a postcard tradition. Send your child a postcard from each trip you take.

7. Learn something new with your kids. Approach ideas from their perspective.

8. Come up with a secret sign that means, "I love you." It comes in handy at the bus stop or in a crowded room.

9. Ask your kids to write a letter a week -- longhand. They can write to whomever they choose: family, friends, heroes, someone they read about in the paper.

10. Wish upon a star with your child. Listen to his/her wish.

Sign up for Mimi Doe's free bi-weekly newsletter "Spiritual Parenting Thought for the Week" at: http://www.SpiritualParenting.com

~*~Who Is Mimi Doe?~*~
Mimi Doe, M.Ed., is the author of "BUSY BUT BALANCED: Practical and Inspirational Ways to Create a Calmer, Closer Family" (St. Martins Press, Oct. 2001). "Ladies Home Journal" called Mimi "a parenting guru" and her work has been covered in publications such as "Child," "Parenting," "McCalls," "Family Circle," "Publisher's Weekly" and "USA Today." She has appeared on talk radio and television programs including Oprah.

Mimi's workshops and seminars have changed the way thousands of parents interact with the children in their lives. Her popular on-line newsletter, Spiritual Parenting Thought for the Week has over 30,000 subscribers from around the world and she is a parenting contributor to Beliefnet.com.

Mimi is also the author of "10 Principles for Spiritual Parenting: Nurturing Your Child's Soul" (which won the 1998 Parents' Choice Seal of Approval and was a finalist in the Books for a Better Life Award) and the co-author of "Drawing Angels Near: Children Tell of Angels in Words and Pictures." She holds a master's degree in education from Harvard.

More Momscape articles by Mimi Doe:
5 Ways to Raise Joyful Happy Kids, by Mimi Doe
Spiritual Parenting Principles, by Mimi Doe
Raising Children in an Email World