The other day Gregory and I were having one of our frequent discussions about electronics. This is probably the most discussed topic in our home. At one point he mentioned how other kids have MacBook Pros with Retina displays, iPhone 5s, and iPad 3s…and he wants them too! He was passionate and emotional as he talked about these things and defeated as well.
I love how Apple has created such great products, but they have also helped turn much of our world into a virtual one, where so much of life is contained inside of these little screens. So much of the world is in there, and I don’t see it going away. Is there an app for bringing my children back?
Full disclaimer, I am writing this essay on my iPad 1, which is fine for what I need, although it does crash a lot as the apps are more and more demanding. But I like how slow it is, because for writing it makes me slow down and think about what I write. That is a godsend. But back to my thought…
What is the balance between enjoying all of the new technology and enjoying the games of old, when personal interaction was the point of the game. Are old games just that, old? We watched Star Wars the original movie this weekend from 1977, and it was wonderful. They had added some scenes to tie in new characters, like Jaba the hut, and they remastered it so it wouldn’t look too dated. Still I could tell how the kids were not impressed with the technology on screen, which I also agree was like 30+ years old! The story was still valid and they watched the whole thing without complaint.
How does this late to keeping up with the Jones’ kids? How do we make it so that my kids don’t feel left out because they are on an electronics moratorium, while other kids seeming have free reign? My only thought is to bring out the best of the old and see if they catch on. They love BWEs (best waffles ever), using a recipe from their great grandfather. They love Downton Abbey and watching the interaction of characters in the early 1900s. They love playing tennis with Dad and trying to beat him for the prize of Robecks smoothies. They love playing Gin Rummy cards that they learned in Hawaii. And they are pretty close on Rummy Tile…
But they haven’t yet fully grasped some of our favorites:
– Monopoly (not the electronic version)
– Doodle Art
– The game where you maneuver the wooden box top so a ball stays away from 50 holes trying to get to the end.
I think if we battle the electronics, we get more…electronics. What we resist persists. Arguing it seems to bring it on more. I think if we divert and educate, we’ll do a better job of showing them that there is more to life than electronics. Let us celebrate those activities that bring us together. Let us bring out these fun activities that Kecia and I loved growing up and have fun playing them ourselves. We can center family activities around these things, and as the kids enjoy them, they will fill up some of their time and mindshare. The electronics will diminish naturally as more time is spent during the day with other less electronic activities. We can still give them some screen time, but I do know that no one opts for the iPod when there are hot waffles in front of them. Wait a minute…syrup might be the secret ingredient! We could gum up the devices with syrup…