Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Balancing act

In the glue household we have some pretty complicated rules when it comes to electronic devices. I will try to describe them in the list below:

1. No family member shall engage in watching TV on a week night, before the children are soundly asleep
2. Children may not be exposed to electronic devices such as computers, iPhones or video games during the     week
3. No violent gaming allowed (no guns or killing)
4. TV can be watched without limits on the weekends, provided the content is child friendly
5. Children can play educational games on the computer on weekends

These rules were difficult for my husband and I to implement. I must confess I went through a period of TV withdrawal when we first started. Now we are all used to it and enjoy spending time interacting with each other instead of just merely being together in the same room absorbed in a passive form of entertainment. Also I think my children enjoy watching their shows more intensely. Here is a series of pictures my husband took of my daughter watching her favourite show, Dora.

The only downside is that my kids are not as electronically proficient as other children. For example I bought a second hand leapster for my son from a mom-to-mom sale. It is a car toy and he is allowed to play with it on the weekends when we find ourselves travelling or running errands for most of the day. (We only have one car and I don't drive so we travel en masse.) My son has spent maybe three hours in total with it and he still doesn't know how to play with it. He says the only thing he has figured out to do is press a button so it can read to him. (The help button which triggers the device to explain the rules.) When you contrast this with many children out there who have their own iPads, I wonder if he is at a disadvantage. Part of me thinks it doesn't matter what is skill level is, he will end up learning on his own, in his own time - it's inevitable!

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