Dear Harriette:

With so many children doing distance learning, I feel like it’s harder for them to grasp the work without being in school. Technology is taking over the lives of my stepchildren and other family members. Kids should be learning how to make friends, run around and use their imaginations to play games and learn social interactions. Watching them not have the same experiences I had growing up with little technology, I am not sure how they will turn out. Will they be smarter from using technology at an early age, or will they face difficulties connecting to others? How can I teach them without using so much technology while making sure they learn the same morals and values? – Schooling My Kids

Dear Schooling My Kids: This is one of the great dilemmas facing our world at this moment. Because we are all cut off from each other, at least for the most part, we are having to learn how to engage and live from a distance. In order for education to continue, many students are having to rely on technology. This will not last forever. For now, do your best to talk to your children and spend time face-to-face with them. Encourage them to use video technology to be able to interact with fellow classmates and friends. At least in that way they can see one another. When safe, allow them to have interactions with one or two friends while still socially distancing.

Beyond this crisis, yes, technology has already become a fact of life for many young people. You must continue to teach your family values. Just apply them to the type of interactions your children are participating in today: using respectful language when communicating, especially in writing; refraining from gossip, especially on social media; choosing to be positive; and looking out for each other. Basic morals apply in ALL situations. Keep teaching.

Harriette Cole is a lifestylist and founder of DREAMLEAPERS, an initiative to help people access and activate their dreams. You can send questions to askharriette@harriettecole.com or c/o Andrews McMeel Syndication, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106.

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