Connection, Technology, and Relationships

(Feat. McKenzie Reaume)

How To Connect With Your Spouse During The Holidays

Episode 140

We are in our technology series and McKenzie (our 4th daughter) who is currently in grad school and grew up in this GenZ/technology world! 

Kenzie cannot remember a time without screens! Kenzie is a conversationalist, so she invest in her relationship with Michael (younger brother) by using technology. She played a lot of Wii, computer games, and watched video games to connect with Michael.  

Now Kenzie is in grad school and doing academic coaching at a university. She works with engineers and helps them with time management, study habits, and weekly schedule. The conversation of video games often comes up because this is how a lot of students spend their time. Kenzie shares about the impact of technology on college students.  

Video Games. Vs. Technology 

Video games are more of hobby and technology is an everyday/every minute distraction.  

She hears a lot of students say, “My phone is more interesting than my school work. I work for 5 minutes, then get a text, respond and end up on social media for 30 minutes.” 

Kenzie’s perspective is unique because of her childhood with tech-savvy brothers and her coaching job with college students. Let’s jump in!

Is All Technology Bad?  

NO!  

  • People who have healthy perspectives of technology use it well  
  • Technology can bring education and connection 
  • People learn all kinds of things from technology

People are learning things from technology. Motivations can be centered around different reasons to utilize technology.  

External vs. Internal Motivation 

Kids can have trouble establishing their own healthy habits because teachers, parents, and their environment. Each of these things can create external motivation.  While this is not bad, kids need a balance between internal and external motivation. 

Parents, take a minute and ask yourself, “How is your kid motivated?” Is it solely by you? Do they an internal motivators (or reasons) to do well in their education and life?

What Are Healthy Boundaries for Technology?

  • Know yourself and your assumptions about technology
  • Understand your child’s culture
  • We get to use technology to help motivate our kids

Biggest Challenges:

Remember parents, it’s not you vs. technology. If you think of it this way you will make technology a barrier. Instead, what if we saw technology as a relational connection point instead of a world of fear we do not understand.  

As parents, we get to help our kids learn technology and how to rule over it, not let it rule over them and their time.  

Instead of putting the wall up, walk alongside them and help them see how technology is a part of their life. They are in control and technology has to do what they tell it to; on their terms.  

Parents, technology is often too prevalent and it can take away from our God-created, beautiful world. We need to fight for real life experiences for our kids. We don’t fight against technology but we get to show our kids there is so much more to life than just the screens in front of us.  

Biggest Victories:  

DSM is a way psychologists understand and classify disorders. Experts are considering putting gaming in the “addiction” category because it is affecting this generation. The hormone release of the games are addicting and kids are using screens as a coping mechanism or form of escape.  

Some studies have shown how technology can benefit us! It’s not all bad! There is a form of connection and relationships within video games and other online games.  

Technology can keep people connected especially our kid’s generation. This generation sees relationships through technology and it’s real to them.  

It’s also a space to play, express emotions, be victorious, and so many other things. Video games is a form of play and it brings out the emotions inside the child. When a child is losing, they express their anger or when they win and express excitement! Those are good things and normal ways to show emotion!   

How Do We Handle Technology?  

  • Identify what technology is for and what it is not for  
    • Phone is used to communicate 
    • Not used to play video games 
  • Ask questions and seek understanding 
    • Don’t get angry when you don’t understand  
  • See technology as a connection point with your child  
  • Create the boundaries together  
  • Accept your kid will live in the technology world whether you want them to or not  
    • The goal is to keep lines of communication open and honest 
  • Be a safe place and join them in your world 
Remember parents, anger leads kids to hiding. If we want our kids to be open with us about technology, we need to be a safe place for them to process and share.  

Technology is ultimately a tool. It’s not meant to be a stumbling block. As parents, we get to teach our kids how to be self-aware when it comes to technology.  

We Want Them to be a Success

As parents, we deeply want our kids to feel successful. This world provides “hormone hits” of success and keeps our kids coming back for more. As parents, how we balance that out is by giving our kids chances to be successful and feel alive!

Give your kids as many experiences in the real world as you can! It will help them navigate real life as they grow up!  

You are doing a great job, parents! Keep going! Keep building the technology culture of your family!  

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How To Connect With Your Spouse During The Holidays

If you have a question or a parenting issue that you’d like us to discuss in a future podcast, email us at [email protected].

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