Wednesday, January 12, 2011

So, I'm Not a Bad Parent After All?

Or...this could be my last-ditch attempt at rationalization. ;-)

I've learned a very interesting fact about my kids the last few days. We are currently on day three of school being closed--way too icy out there--and the five of us (Hubby is out of town) have been hanging close to the house.

I am trying to think back to when *I* had a snow day from school, growing up. I don't really remember any. Maybe one. But what did WE do? Well, we PLAYED in the snow. For hours. Then, we stayed inside, and we made forts. We did little "plays." We did art projects.

So, what have MY kids done? Well, the first day, they played in the snow. For hours. Then, once the novelty wore off, they came inside, and played with their iPods. Asked me if they could get THIS game app, and THAT game app. And played with their iPods. And played with their iPods. And played on the computer. And played the Wii. Then the iPods again. Asked me for MORE apps. I said no. They played on the computer some more. I kicked them off the computer. They said they were bored.

Notice a slight difference?

Yeah. Technology.

Why? Because when I was a kid, we didn't have electronics to play with. HELLO!

My kids are addicted to electronic gadgets. What I have FINALLY realized, is it doesn't make me a "bad" parent, it's just this is an electronic generation. My three year old can maneuver my iPhone better than I can. He's lightining fast. My daughter can make a MOVIE out of photos (complete with music and graphics) on my Mac, and she figured out how to do it all by herself. I would need to take a class. My boys can beat a video game in under an hour. Kids these days are just hard-wired this way. When I listen to my kids' conversations with their friends, what do they talk about? How far they've gotten on such-and-such video game. And how far this friend of a friend of a friend got on HIS video game.

Sure, I still like to have my futile attempts at "unplugging" and spending QT family time together, but it's not like it used to be, when I was growing up, and we didn't have electronic stuff. Then again, if memory serves, I do remember when we got the Atari. WE stopped making forts and playing with toys. We played that thing till it broke. And then the Nintendo NES. I spent an entire summer playing Super Mario Bros. and I saved Princess Peach, more than once.

So, I can't whine and wail and bemoan my kids wanting to be on their electronic gadgets all the time. It is just the way it is. At this point, it's the norm. All their friends, and their friends' friends, are addicted to their gadgets. Quite frankly, I'm "resistant" compared to some of the parents around here. And no, I'm not judging. I just think I'm a little Late to the Party.

Then again, I walked in on Thing Three last night, and he was lying on his bed, nose buried in book 3 of the Ranger's Apprentice series. He had actually made the choice to read a book.

"You're reading?" I asked.

"Yeah--I got tired of my iPod," was his reply.

I'm okay with that.


Anonymous said...

Your kids don't watch TV?

Mine do. And they are addicted to WOW.

I see your point.


Michelle Miles said...

Boy can I totally relate to this.y son is the same way. He makes me nuts with the computer and the Wii and now he is asking for an Xbox to which I say NO.

I think you're right though - it's just their generation. It's good reading though. Mine is reading book 2 of Percy Jackson. Nice they make that choice isn't it? :)

Cassaundra said...

It's not just the younger generation, but us folks that didn't have this cool stuff when we were kids either. My older associate says he's completly "plugged in" meaning, if he lost his gadgets, he would lose a big chunk of how his life works.

Me? I play WoW too, but don't watch TV, don't need a phone that's smarter than I am, or feel the need to be "plugged in" for fear of it all going away and being stranded in the "now what do I do?" type of situation.

Although, the lure of the Apple store across the street has sung its siren's song more than once and they are shiny,I still have yet to step foot in there. It's not that I'm ignorant of the current thing, I just chose not to care as much as the guy that walks into my store with a bluetooth in his ear, answering an email on his Blackberry and checking his Iphone for the latest stock prices.

However if I lost my computer (*knocks on wood*) you would hear my crys all the way over on your side of the world. ;-)

Devon Ellington said...

Reading is great.

Also, as long as they have skills to put into play once the power is turned off and can cope, and you know where they roam electronically, I think you're right on the money.

Unfortunately, I know too many kids who can't cope and need their anti-anxiety medication (literally) if they can't be plugged in al the time. To me, that's too much.

And I don't want video in the car. Look out the damn window. Learn the geography.