Tuesday, April 28, 2009

This One's Gonna Hurt

I warned you.
If you love buying your kids video games and think that my children are 'missing out' on life because we don't own an xbox, nintendo, gameboy, atari, or computer games, this post is not for you.You were warned.(I've never in all my life seen Mark pet and call animal intended for market by name. Crazy.)

Wait, I take that back. We one 1 computer game, but it isn't compatible with the infamous Vista, so it just sits on the shelf feeling incompatible with life because it cannot fulfill it's destiny of interacting with modern technology. But if you think I'm a freak,you can just stop reading now and come back a different day or you can hang around and collect some more fuel for my freakiness. By the way, today's photos have nothing to do with video games. It's just for those who would rather see my life than hear my thoughts. I understand. It's okay. Sometimes, I get tired of my thoughts, too.

And for the record, I am not discussing in today's one-sided discussion Grown Men, Adults, or other 20-30 Something Siblings who play video games. That would be a whole other kind of pain, of which I'm not willing to subject myself. We're just talking kids here, okay? And really I'm talking about kids under 12.Ever heard of Richard Peck? Me neither. But he won a Newbery Medal for writing a kid's book. This is one of the statements he made during his acceptance speech.

"Powerful forces divorce the young from their roots and traditions: the relentlessness of the video game that is the pornography of the prepubescent, a violent virtual reality that eliminates the parents who paid for it. And the peer group that rushes in to fill the vacuum of the teacher's vanished authority and an awesome parental power failure."
I'm gonna break that down for you. Basically, he's saying, in his opinion, there are 2 powerful forces that are separating kids from their roots and traditions.
Now, I'm not a big follower of tradition for tradition's sake. However, I'm a really big fan of teaching children to love God and to know that people are always more important than things. I'm gonna call those things traditions because they were taught to me and I'm passing them on to my children.

This phrase has haunted me:
"the relentlessness of the video game that is the pornography of the prepubescent"
Yikes!!!! Hello? Defined this way, I'm pretty sure no one would say that's a "Great Idea for the Young People."

But here's the kicker for me:

"a violent virtual reality that eliminates the parents who paid for it."
Double Yikes!!! But isn't it sort of true? I can either supervise my kids: giving direction, encouragement, correction as needed. Or I can sit them in front of screen and when I say their name they don't even look up. That screen tells them what to do, encourages them to play better and their mistakes are corrected when the pimped out midnight black cruiser blows up after rolling 3 times down the embankment.

" the teacher's vanished authority and an awesome parental power failure."
We all know friends are important to kids. I believe it is my responsibility as a parent to provide quality friendships for my children, so they'll know how to make and keep friends as an adult. But the day that my childrens' relationship with peers vanishes my authority in thier life would be a very sad day for me.

Before, I get bombarded with emails saying, "Wait until you have teenagers! You'll change your mind!" let me say this. I know there will come a day when my relationship with my kids is not based upon my lording authority over their heads. My prayer is that they will still seek out my authority because of the strong relationship that we have. I've seen it work. It worked in my own life.
(I think that animal's pregnant. But nobody believes me.)

So, there you have it. Today's food for thought. If there's a mom or dad out there that has a personal story about how video games have not had this effect in their family I'd love to hear a different perspective than Richard Peck's observation.

Wow. Did you really read all of that? Or were you just scrolling down to see if there were any more photos? If so here's my favorite of the day:


Ginger said...

Sounds to me like you definitely get the point of nature study. ;) I'm currently reading Clifford Stoll's "High Tech Heretic". Funny timing this post that isn't about your thoughts. hehe

Vicki said...

Great post:)

Edward and Gretchen said...

Amen! I am 100% on board. Carol Joy Seid compares video games, media, etc. to a rabid wolf after your kids.
Thanks for taking the time to post this one.

Anonymous said...

I had Jacob read this and he asked if he could comment. He did this one completely on his own. All I changed was "aloud" to "allowed". I asked him what 7.4 meant and he said 7 days a week, 4 hours a day. Yikes, do parents really let their kids do that?

Jody, I agree with you a little bit. But I do think a kid should be allowed a little time on electronics. Example, let your kid have thirty minutes on the weekends. But not like the parents that let there children play 7.4. P.S don’t be offended if you just read this comment anyone that lets their child play 7.4 Jacob Carel

Life on The Rowland Ranch said...

Does the WII count?...if it does..ouch!!! We have WII time a few times a week...picture it..all the Rowland's gathering around hooting an hollering for each other as we bowl and chop vegees as fast as we can..or hit the slopes in skiing..I occasionally glance out the window during WII time and bask in the beauty of the beautiful tree with a cardinal nest in it..does that count toward nature time..even a little bit? :)

Kretschmer Family said...

While I will admit we have a Wii (Grandma gave it to the kids), their time and the games they play are monitored and limited. People do look at you funny when you tell them things like that. A few years ago, our oldest told a friend at school that we don't have cable tv. His friend said, "Oh, I'm sorry." That was in Kindergarten.

We still don't have cable (or a digital tuner or converter box - oh no!)