A media parenting realization that struck like lightning

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Lightning struck our house last night. In more ways than one.

Sometime in the early morning hours last night, a line of storms came through our area. We were jarred out of bed by the loudest crash of thunder I’ve ever heard. With my heart pounding, I rushed out into the living room because I knew kids would soon come running to my room. The smoke detectors started screeching, and as I searched for a light switch, I noticed the power was off. I grabbed my phone and used its light to check the breaker box, where I found 6 or 7 tripped breakers. After 20 minutes or so, we all settled down and went back to bed. When we woke up this morning, however, we discovered that several small appliances no longer worked due to last night’s power surge. Casualties included one alarm clock, the garage door opener, the control panel for our lawn sprinkler system, and the WiFi router.

That’s right, lightning blew up our Internet last night.

But the bigger blow occurred when upon learning that our Internet was gone, one of our daughters said, “Yay, less time on the tablet and phone, and more time together!”

Ouch.

Electronics can be replaced. But time with my daughters can’t. Have I really become the parent that pays more attention to my phone than I do to my kids? I don’t need any scientific research to tell me that this is a problem. The words that came out of my daughter’s mouth are evidence enough. Surely, I am like an overweight doctor telling people they need to lose weight. This isn’t supposed to be a problem for me.

I suppose that becoming a powerful media parent isn’t a one time thing, is it? It’s something that we have to constantly reevaluate. We have to start over. And over. And over. Like you, this is my first time being a parent. We’re all just doing our best to not screw our kids up, aren’t we? Sometimes reminders like this come in unexpected, but necessary ways.

Sometimes they hit us like a bolt of lightning.

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