The other day my son was playing the game Angry Birds (i'm sure you've heard of it) on our Roku. He loves to hand me the remote to "teach" me to play. Now I'm no stranger to Angry Birds. I used to play (before I had two kids) the original game on my IPhone and played till I got 3 stars on almost every level. He was playing Star Wars Angry Bird and he handed me the remote telling me to play. My husband found my son's enthusiasm amusing so he started to record it on his phone.The board looked easy enough. So I proceeded to fling the bird at the giant pig but to no avail. Meanwhile he's trying to tell me how to do it and I don't listen to him at all. I tell him to try and to my shock, in one attempt he kills the pig with 1 bird.
Watch the video below:
Kids and electronics now a days huh? My son, when he was 1 and 1/2 years old, started playing with our iPad. By the time he was 2, he knew how to peruse through apps, open and close them effortlessly, he knew whether he was on the web vs an app etc. I remember watching him in amazement. His fluent ability to control a Playstation, Roku, aniPad, an iPhone, seems inherent. You'd think he was on the iPhone in the womb! I know its not just him, but almost all kids I see now a days are the same way.
It's as if our generation's endeavor to make technology intuitive, has given "birth" to another generation, where technology has become instinct. As more late-Gen Xers/ and Millenials start having kids, we as parents are trying to find a middle ground, or a set way as to how to deal with it. For us, electronics was limited and technology had to be learned. We got our first desktop computer in 1995. We had to learn how to use it and discover how it worked. Now a days that is not the case. Never before has electronics/ technology been so ubiquitous in our daily lives, never before has it been so accessible, and easy to use. When my husband and I are out with our kids, many times the only thing that will get my son to stand still for more than a second is the IPhone. We look at each other and wonder "how did parents do it before iPhones and iPads, and Androids etc?"
I've read countless websites on "how much is too much?" My son's visceral love for all things TV definitely needs to be curbed and supervised, my daughter, on the other hand could care less about the TV for now (sometimes I wish she liked it more to distract her from destroying our house). Sometimes I feel as if my son is recompense for what I put my mother through. To say my brother and I loved TV would be the understatement of the 80s. We LIVED for TV. My brother didn't speak Korean much but one thing he did know how to say was,
"TV 보고 싶어!" (I want to watch TV!)
My mom would get so sick of it, and cut the cable for years at a time but... lets just say absence only made the heart grow fonder...
I can't say I feel good about how addicted he is and how much he watches. First and foremost I think the question I need to ask is "Am I having him watch this for him or for me?" Often times TV and games is a much needed respite for me to get things done and get a break from him wanting 110% of my attention at all times. In those cases, I want him to be entertained enough to keep him out of my way. Then there are times when I make a point to show him something he can learn from, something that allows me to engage with him. I need to be intentional to do more of the latter. That's one of the reasons I agreed to join the Netflix Stream Team. They send me educational theme based recommendations for kids. We watch the show with our kids, engage in dialogue about it and see how the experience was like for them. So all in all I need to try to curb is daily electronics, but when he does watch it try to participate in it.
Since we are trying to figure out our techy kids together, any thoughts or suggestions? What is your experience?