Professor Mom

Chronicles the life of a mom, teacher, and writer trying to stay sane amid the chaos of daily life.

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Omaha Mama's picture Omaha Mama

Amen! My pet peeve is a parent who sits on the cell phone or texts while they're kids are trying to talk to them. I think another title for your post would be for parents to Plug In! to their kids. I let my kids watch movies and TV, they get a little bit each day. But it doesn't replace conversation and reading and puzzles. It definitely doesn't replace imaginative play! I agree with everything you've said here and agree that kids need to learn how to behave, even when they are "bored". Too many students in my own classroom expect to be entertained at all times and are miffed with even a moment of downtime. I could see the temptation though, because the times that we have students play computer games are some of the best behavioral times of the week!


beck's picture beck

Preaching to the choir!
My husband and I STILL talk disbelievingly about the then-8-year old stepcousin who was allowed to play his DS ALL CHRISTMAS DAY last year. How festive.
We LOVE video games as a family - and I do think that there's a healthy way to incorporate them into family life, but NOT as a pacifying tool for keeping kids who really should be able to behave better quiet.


Aliki McElreath's picture Aliki McElreath

I agree with both of you. I definitely don't want to demonize video games because, as I said, I love them too, and L. plays quite a few computer games. I also have to set T. up with a DVD on my laptop when I have a department meeting because expecting her to sit quietly during that time is just too much. But it's all about knowing when and how much as parents.


Hetha's picture Hetha

I've even been to dinner in a restaurant with a mother and her 10 year old son who whipped out the game boy handheld as soon as he finished eating. He never looked up from the thing while the rest of us remained at the table conversing and finishing our meals. I couldn't believe that! These children are going to have significantly impaired social skills as adults; they already do as young adults.


Aliki McElreath's picture Aliki McElreath

I think you've hit the nail on the head, Hetha--how on earth will they learn to interact as adults?


the_tars's picture the_tars

I must confess, sometimes I let BubTar bring his Nintendo DS to K's appointments when he has to come along. I don't do it so I can have peace and quiet (he is very well behaved all on his own), but so that he isn't miserable because I've dragged him somewhere else for his sister. When KayTar is occupied, though, I play it WITH him, we take turns or he shows me all the cool stuff he can do, so it is more of a joint activity than a pacifier situation, I guess.


Aliki McElreath's picture Aliki McElreath

That's a different situation, I think. What annoys me is when parents make the choice for their kids rather than trying to work through other options--reading them a story, teaching them how to behave in a grocery store, etc. I see those as real "pacifier" moments...


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