Tuesday, January 26, 2010
I went to the grocery store before work this morning and saw something that made me very sad. A young mother had her probably-not-even-three-year-old in the seat in the front of the carriage. And the little girl was playing with a hand-held video game. Seriously? You can't even make it through a trip to the supermarket without using an electronic device to keep her amused? I know I'm going to sound like my grandfather (eh sonny, when I was a kid.......) BUT.....when my kids were young I actually used times like the supermarket to engage them in conversation. We talked about food and what we eat and how we prepare it and whatever else came to mind. Sure, there were times when I wished I could put some masking tape on the child's mouth so I could think for a half-second. But usually I enjoyed making conversation with my children. Everything is electronic now. Not just TV and video games and computers and WII and whatever else that keeps children amused at home (when they should be following you around and "helping" you with housework and cooking and laundry). But you can't go into stores or banks or gas stations without TVs constantly running. And children need DVD players and video games to keep them quiet in the car. Even baby toys all have music playing and lights flashing. How will children learn about life when they are constantly being amused by electronics? How will they learn how to match socks? How to sort silverware? How to carefully put on their coats and shoes to go out and get the mail? How will they learn to converse when adults don't converse with them? Personally, I think all this noise and confusion and constant flash and lights etc. is a cause of ADHD. Children never get a chance to just be quiet. To sit and think and work through a difficult problem (like a puzzle) without a toy talking to them and flashing at them. I think it's time to put down the electronics and engage your children. Talk to them. Play with them. Learn with them. And save some money on batteries.