Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Spin Cycle: The Kids Will Be Alright

The spin cycle this week hits pretty close to home. Kids and technology. Wow. A lot can be said about this. With Leo his fascination with technology started at a young age. He was born around the time Rock Band was popular and the hubby and I like to play some games and especially when it comes to rocking out we deemed it necessary to get that game. And so of course Leo would “watch” us play. And he would sit there with his own guitar and pretend he was playing with us. He was just so darn cute! ( I was going to insert a picture here but stupid blogger wouldn't let me. Annoyed!)

As he’s gotten older he has continued with his fascination with all things technological. He loves playing on our Iphones. He got a DS for his birthday from his grandma and grandpa who love to spoil him. And of course his dad is a gamer so he felt he needed multiple games to go along with it. He plays Nick Jr. and Playhouse Disney on the computer. He got a Smart Cycle from his other grandma and grandpa that love to spoil him for Christmas. He also has a Superhero Squad computer AND a Bob the Builder computer. Both were given as gifts and he plays with both of them. Oh and yeah, he has a TV in his room because I can’t stand to watch Blue’s Clues and Bob the Builder and and and. And to top it all off he has learned how to play the Wii. While we always knew the Wii would come in handy for a kid because of the ease of use I was not prepared for the monster it would create.

I think it was just a few weeks ago that I said I loved the Wii because it gave me some uninterrupted time to myself while he could occupy himself while playing. Well I would like to retract my statement. While I still love that Leo is capable at 4 to get multiple hole-in-ones while playing Tiger Woods golf with his dad I feel like kids spend WAY too much time playing games and watching TV. And I NEVER thought I would be that parent. I figured that the kid would be diversified enough and that he had sooooo many toys that he wouldn’t want to watch TV and play video games all the time. Boy was I wrong. And maybe as he gets older and has more friends that live by us that are his age he will be able to spend more time doing other things. But right now I have to step in and set limits for him. Like two Sunday’s we woke up to the child bouncing on our bed asking to play the Wii. I told him that he could BUT he could only play for 30 minutes. And I had a headache the size of Texas and this would have been the perfect opportunity to let him play for as long as his little heart desired. But I didn’t. I set my alarm for 30 minutes later and when I woke back up I made him turn it off and do something else. And I’ve done the same thing with the computer and the TV recently. Unfortunately it’s been so hot I’m afraid to send the little bugger outside because I don’t want him to get heat stroke (seriously…it was 111 here today). And as much as he sweats he would probably get dehydrated in a matter of minutes! So finding other activities for him to do that will keep him occupied has been difficult. But I’ve bought some preschool/kindergarten readiness workbooks and he loves doing his “homework.” I’ve also told him that he needs to use his imagination and make up stuff to do. And I know that his dad does not impose the same limits on the games that I do and that’s fine. I also think it’s fine that the hubby and him spend time together playing the games. I actually think it’s pretty darn cute. I just want him to grow up learning that there is more to his life than technology.

One way that we are trying to broaden Leo’s horizons is by taking him to many different museums and events. In our town we have different museums and he’s gone to so many different ones. He’s been to the art museum, the children’s museum, the All-American Indian Center, Botanical Gardens and a Museum of Natural Treasures. He’s also been to a few college basketball games, to see the Harlem Globetrotters, multiple Kansas City Royals games and even a Kansas City Chiefs game. This year we were thinking of taking him to see a KU football game and I was going to send the hubby and him up to Kansas City to watch the Chiefs play again but that just depends on some things in the works for the future.

So yeah. I think there needs to be some regulations put in place by the parents and it has to be what works best for your family. I know that Leo does not spend hardly any time with technology at school so at night what he spends is not a lot. And I also don’t consider the time he spends watching stuff with us or playing games with his dad as part of his allotted time. I think family togetherness is way more important than any amount of time spent doing one activity. So again…we all have to do what’s best for our individual families!

To see other people’s take on this spin visit Jen!


Sprite's Keeper said...

I think the one thing I can't do is give Sprite a tv for her room. I'd rather sit through Olivia or Backyardigans than have to yell at her for keeping the dang thing on at ten at night. (She would. We've learned that lesson with the iPod.) I've often wondered if she would take to the Wii, like Leo did, but we don't have one (could never afford it when the time was right, and when we could, something else always came up) but she has taken to John's iPod to the extent that she was able to reprogram it and lock him out once!
You're linked!

VandyJ said...

WE limit Turbo too. Otherwise the kid would play all the time. It helps that the Wii is on the TV in the main living room.
And we refuse to let him have a TV in his room. He would watch it ALL THE TIME.
Still, he's pretty good at turning things off when we ask him to.

kendrasue said...

I will say that Leo does not know how to turn on the DVD player that plays the movies in his room and the tv in there does not have cable so we have control over when he can watch it in there.

CaJoh said...

I think it is great that you are trying to be diverse in the activities he participates in. It is so easy to use technology as a babysitting crutch. Glad you are able to place limits on things early on (wouldn't want there to be a huge struggle when he's a teen).

Stacy Uncorked said...

You're right - regulations and/or limitations need to be set by us parents and stuck to, too. ;) Like you, some of our 'family togetherness' is playing games or each of us being on our computers - in the same room, not sequestered elsewhere. Which is one of the reasons I refuse to put a TV or gaming system in Princess Nagger's room (though she's asked often) because we'd probably never see her if we did that. ;) She surprises me often - when she's allowed to have TV or computer time, she'll get bored with it after a short amount of time, then move on to playing with the dogs or reading a book or doing something creative (which invariably means making a ginormous mess in her wake...but it's worth it). I know I'm the kind of person that if I'm told I can't do something, it makes me want to do it more - I think PN is the same way - so letting her do things (in moderation) helps give her balance and she's been doing great not being obsessed with all technology all the time. :) Great Spin! :)

Spin: Technological Kid