I bet you remember early childhood, yes?  You might not be able to put your memories in exact order, but you’ve likely got a lot of them.  Besides interactions with Mom ‘n Dad and other relatives, which are great memories, you certainly remember great play times.  If you were a boy, you might remember toy soldiers, little cars, truck, trains, airplanes.  If you were a little girl, you have fond thoughts about favorite dolls, dollhouses, pretend cooking, all that.  For most of you, there was a TV in your house, and you probably had rules in your house about the amount of watching you were allowed.

Now, it seems that everything has been turned upside-down.  Kids have video games, either plastic boxes attached to the television or maybe even hand-held.

Recently I observed a couple of things I found disturbing.  The first was watching a family on the way in to the store and little Junior was totally engrossed in a DSI or equivalent.  His mother was trying to get him up to speed so they could actually get IN to the store, but his attention never wavered from the little box in his tiny hands.  She finally picked him up and in-transit he was hanging over his mother’s shoulder continuing his absorption with the toy(?).  Then, most recently, I was furtively watching a couple in a neighboring booth at the restaurant.  Dad, Mom, plus 11-year-old son were dining together.  Well, Mom and Dad were dining, #1 Son was attached/focused/entranced/in-thrall because of the DSI-type device he had on the table in front of him.  All through their meal this continued.  When they (Mom & Dad) rose, indicating it was time to leave, son was curled up in the corner of his side of the booth still playing.  They almost had to drag him out.  The kid wasn’t whining or complaining, he was just pretty much oblivious to their entreaties.

It seems to me that today’s parents (some, not all, of course) are removing the child’s opportunity to build memories that are attached to the “usual” playthings of childhood.  Their memories are built around ‘beep beep boing’ instead of pleasant times expanding their imaginations with ‘regular’ toys.  Do the kids get outside much at home?  I rather doubt it.  They are in a corner somewhere, quietly playing with the video game, their minds ‘switched off’ to the outside world.  What has apparently happened is that the parental unit has chosen to provide the kid with an electronic nanny to provide entertainment and to keep the little guy from pestering Mom with their needs.  It is likely that social interaction with childhood peers has fallen by the wayside, also.  How about homework?  Is that suffering?  I don’t know but I have my suspicions.

Maybe video games are somehow outside the realm of ‘parental guidance’.  My advice?  Parents, take those things away from them, make them seek PLAY, make them seek PLAYMATES!  This is a radical idea, but for the sake of the young minds in our care, let’s think about putting the video devices away, just until Dick & Jane are 21 years old and can make their own decisions.

Am I just a fuddy-duddy?  Am I totally wrong?

One response to “Mini-rant

  1. You are totally right. I will admit Addison has a tv in her room, but no video games at all. She spents the majority of her time with barbies, dolls, cars, legos, and her kitchen. Plus we do not drag those things along when we go out to eat, we expect her to be part of the conversation at dinner. Plus we sit down as a family and eat together everynight, unless one of us isn’t home, which isn’t very often. Good blog Jim!

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