Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Plugged-In Kids

What do we do with today's technology-obsessed children? I have two of them living in my house. Sophie...perhaps because she is a girl, perhaps because she is a diva...isn't all that interested in technology. She prefers to follow me from room to room reciting the ways in which I have wronged her throughout the day. However, my two boys are completely enamored of it. If it beeps, bings, chirps, lights up, has a keyboard, or possesses a screen, it will put my boys into a technology-induced frenzy. Nicholas is particularly preoccupied with all things electronic. He is constantly wanting to play games on my sister's cell phone. The minute she walks in the house, he asks her for her phone (being firmly entrenched in the era of Bill Clinton, my "boooo-ring" cell phone does nothing but make phone calls). He is also constantly asking to play the Wii. When we bought the Wii, it was initially meant to be for Ruanita and I. However, we rarely play it these days. It's all about the boys. Nicholas would play it all day if we would let him. And the child is only three years old! I have to admit though, he is incredibly cute standing in front of the TV playing. His favorite games are table tennis and boxing. He doesn't so much aim as just flail him arms around in all directions. Amazingly, he manages to do pretty well. Actually, he can beat me most of the time. And he looks darn adorable standing there with his skinny little arms flying.

Lucas recently discovered the joys of the home computer. He used to only be interested in making "art" with Paintbrush. However, he has now discovered the internet and I am afraid life will never be the same. It doesn't help that every single cartoon he watches ends with the characters telling him to check out their website. And every toy he buys has a website printed on the packaging. For a week. he begged me to let him log onto I finally relented and now he is constantly begging me to play some dumb little game that is on their website. He's recruited Nicholas, as well. Just yesterday, Nicholas asked me to log onto Caillou's website. My three-year-old is more proficient with a mouse than I am! And it took me at least a week to get used to using that little pad on my laptop in the place of a mouse. Lucas sat down and immediately starting using it as if he'd been dong it his entire life. I am afraid that my boys' technological skills are soon going to bypass my own...very soon. What do I do then?

What happened to the simple joys of childhood...before we all became so "plugged-in" all the time? What about riding a bike around the block? Catching fireflies? Freeze tag in the back yard? What about board games and puzzles...made of real cardboard, not pixels on a screen? What about playing in the sprinkler? Popsicles staining your lips and dripping on your foot as you eat them outside? I have to force these things on my children. I have to literally and figuratively "un-plug" them and push them out the front door. They may not like it, but I will continue to push it. I don't want my children missing out on the beautiful things this life has to offer because they have their eyes glued to a screen.


Angie Rehnelt said...

I can completely relate to this, Shannon. Ashlie loves too.
The other day she had a box of legos and asked me if this is a website because it said ", she read the website name, but asked me why it said "wuh wuh wuh" for the "www". I had a hard time explaining it is pronounced www, not wuh, wuh, wuh! :)

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