Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Raising Kids in an Electronic Age

  • I am 28 years old.
  • I do not have children (not for lack of trying).
  • I have two iPods and a smart phone.
  • I have a desktop computer, a netbook, and a Nook Color.
  • I have a Wii console (that has mainly been used for Netflix).
I now circle to the title of this post.  With the list above, some might stop at the second item and say, "What does she know about raising children?"  While I do not have any children of my own, I do have two nephews ages 4 and 3 (soon to be 5 and 4...yikes!) and a soon-to-be step sister (5) and soon-to-be step brother (12).  Plus I have a ton of friends who have children that I have been around.

When I was growing up, as long as lightening was not striking anywhere in the vicinity of our house, my sisters and I were outside.  During the summer, the only time we were inside on beautiful days was when my mom had us reading.  We read a book for at least a half hour every day.  After reading, we were outside to play.  There were three girls a year older than me that lived around us.  One lived next door and she has a brother my age and a sister about the same age as my youngest sister.  One lived behind us and she has a brother a year younger than me.  The last lived across the street from the last one and she has a brother my age and a sister about the same age as my middle sister.  We would play outside at any of our houses but we had the largest yard.

When it came to school, there were three classes for each grade.  That gives us approximately 60+ children...and we all played together at recess.

It is a long clip but I could not find a shorter one...just watch the first 1 minute and 40 seconds.  Red Rover was a big game that we would all play together...along with crack the whip, hide and seek, and freeze tag (or regular tag).

We would always start out the school year and end the school year with baseball (I mean we were in the midst of seasons either ending or starting).  I remember there were two guys in my class who started quoting "Rookie of the Year" the movie but the quote does not come in until the end...(what is up with YouTube these days and not being able to find decent video clips...gosh!)

Today, kids expect everything to be handed to them.  When I was a kid, I had to earn my t.v. time and my video game time.  Video game time was earned and only for about a half hour at the most...and it was not every day.  Forget about it if it were a nice day.  T.V. time was only for about an hour at night with the family, unless it was movie night or Friday night (who did not watch T.G.I.F...I mean Steve Urkele, Michelle Tanner, DINOSAURS...).

I did not have a cell phone until I was 16 years old and it only had 30 minutes on it, used only in emergencies...and DID NOT HAVE TEXTING OR INTERNET!  I see kids with iPhones and iPads, spending all their time inside on their asses being lazy and playing video games.  It makes me yearn for the simple days of being thrown outside and told to ride our bikes.  I mean come on!  Parents need to shove their kids into the yard and lock the door!  That is what my mom did!  Heaven forbid we had to go to the bathroom.  I think part of the reason for us being tossed outside was to be active but another part of locking us out was for her to get some peace and quiet!

I do want children some day and I plan on raising my children the same way I was raised.  There is no need for a 5 year old to get an iPad for their only gets lost or broken.  Why should a pre-teen have a smart phone?  Especially one who does not use it, loses the charger, complains that it does not work right when all it needed was to be reset...and then is GIVEN an iPhone 5...really?!?