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  1. #31
    Junior Member ama's Avatar
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    I agree with you guys, especially the part about the loud blinking electronic toys. I always cringe inside when I see an ad for one of those on TV. If all it does is flash lights and shout words or songs or whatever then after a short time there's nothing else to do with it. It doesn't have any creative possibilities. Giving kids things like action figures, dolls, art supplies/sports equipment etc. is a much better idea. With good toys you can't just push a bunch of buttons and stand there and watch. You have to use your imagination. Kid who aren't given many opportunities to exercise their creativity are missing out.

    However, I don't think video games are a complete waste of time either. The games today are light years ahead of those of the 80s. Video games today incorporate a lot of complex problem-solving tasks. Progressing through them requires a lot of patience and strategy. Video games shouldn't be the only way a child spend their time, but I don't they're nearly as bad as the media makes them out to be.
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

  2. #32
    Lex Parsimoniae Xander's Avatar
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    The problem is not with the design of the entertainment, yes they include all of these cerebral things and are mind expanding yadda yadda blah blah but like with all those convenience devices in the home and at work turning people into little more than in trays and out trays we are turning our kids into cogs in a machine. Everything is fed to them, all the parameters are highlighted, all the safety aspects have been explored and defined to the nth degree, the instructions are clear and comprehensive.... basically we've mastered the whole toy and entertainment side so that there's no problems to solve. Sure there are the designed problems to solve but if you play these games enough all the problems fall into a couple of categories and the solution is often very obvious if you've encountered that type of problem before. It leads to kids who can only solve problems if they are given a sturdy platform to work from, clear instructions, support and no waiting time before they can do something.

    "When Alexander saw the breadth of his domain, he wept for there were no more worlds to conquer."

    There are less and less things to conquer for children. We've removed the spikes from hedgehogs, we've wrapped bubble wrap around the thorns and we've carpeted the floor in thick foam rubber. Do this to people and they take up base jumping to feel alive. Do this with kids and they will think that this is how the world works, why wouldn't they it's their only experience of it.

    Yes kids should have fun in their childhood.
    Yes they should be treated nicely.
    No they shouldn't think that everything is made of sweets and that bunnies never die.
    No they shouldn't have each and every minute filled with easily accessible entertainment.

    Admittedly neither should the parents have a life which is work, serve and sleep but that's another matter.
    Isn't it time for a colourful metaphor?

  3. #33
    Senior Member cafe's Avatar
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    Well, really, it's hard to do (or not do) all the things you are supposed to do when you are a parent. And believe me, everybody has an opinion. You really cannot hope to win. You've got the grandparents, the teachers, the neighbors, strangers at the grocery store and they all have something to say about the way you are doing your job.

    Seriously. My mother-in-law thinks I should be home schooling all four kids with a good Bible-based curriculum. My mother-out-law (hubby's step-mom) thinks that all kids that are home schooled or go to Christian school will go hog wild the moment they are left unattended (despite any evidence you offer her to the contrary or the fact that public school kids sometimes go hog wild, too). My dad's gf thinks I should go to work full-time, keep the house spotless, cook full meals and never eat out, and God only knows what my mother thinks I should be doing.

    People want the kids to go out and play then they complain that the kids are out playing by themselves (you should be watching them at all times because of child molesters, etc) then you go outside and hang out while they play then people complain because you're outside messing around when your house isn't clean. Then you bring the kids in so you can clean the house then people complain that they aren't outside playing . . . you get the idea.

    You're supposed to have them in activities, but not too many. You are supposed to pay for said activities, but not work so much that you don't spend time with the kids. You are supposed to sit down at the dinner table each evening for a home-cooked nutritious non-obesity causing supper despite working to pay for the activities and taking time out for going to the activities.

    They are supposed to do all their homework, go to activities, sit down with the family for dinner, play outside, use their imaginations, read for fun, do chores, have and visit with friends, spend quality time with their family, and around here, go to church. Then they are also supposed to go to bed in plenty of time to get ten hours sleep and be on time for school, all bright-eyed and bushy-tailed. Their clothes must fit, be clean, wrinkle-free, in good-repair, and nice, but not too nice (everyone knows it's a waste of money to buy expensive trendy clothes for growing kids). Ideally, all the clothes should be purchased from yard-sales. Except for underwear and socks. Those should be purchased new and remain snowy white and hole-free until they are outgrown. Without using any chemicals that might damage the environment.

    Now you are also supposed to buy them toys they don't want because they are good for them. But be careful. If they are from China, they are probably poisonous.

    You know what I think? You ain't offerin' to pay for it, clean it, babysit it, or chauffeur it?
    “There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old’s life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs.”
    ~ John Rogers

  4. #34
    Senior Member reason's Avatar
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    Cafe, that is the best thing I have read all day. Have a gold star
    A criticism that can be brought against everything ought not to be brought against anything.

  5. #35
    Lex Parsimoniae Xander's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cafe View Post
    You know what I think? You ain't offerin' to pay for it, clean it, babysit it, or chauffeur it?
    Oh hell yeah. Unless it comes to legal intervention then if your not the parent then guess what, it don't matter a fig what you think.

    I can see how that may be applied to this thread but I'm not interested in treating the symptoms, only the cause. Symptoms are personal and individual, the cause is impersonal and objective.....mostly....well ish...

    Isn't it time for a colourful metaphor?

  6. #36
    Senior Member cafe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Xander View Post
    I can see how that may be applied to this thread but I'm not interested in treating the symptoms, only the cause. Symptoms are personal and individual, the cause is impersonal and objective.....mostly....well ish...

    I don't know what things are like elsewhere, but here, the basic of living are pricey- housing, utilities, transportation, food, you pretty much have to work like a dog, probably both parents (assuming there are two) in order to just keep those things going. That leaves parents with little time and energy for kids, but the expectations for parents have not lowered, they've risen. Kids are expected to be under adult supervision at all times. Electronics, etc, OTOH, are very cheap, comparatively speaking and they keep kids entertained indoors where they are safe from all the things you hear about on the news.

    How this is all supposed to be fixed, I'm not sure. I think if either prices for the necessities were lowered or wages kept the same with the work week shortened could be a step in the right direction. But how does one do that? The US, at least, is bleeding good paying jobs like a hemophiliac that just ate a bottle full of aspirin and cut off a leg.

    But you never know. It might be so ingrained by now that folks would just spend the extra money on junk or would use the extra time to get a second job to buy more junk.


    Our kids spend a lot of time indoors with electronics, but one is normally reading fan-fic, one spends a lot of time playing with photo-shop, another likes to build roads and cars, etc on the games they play. I only have one kid that likes to watch cartoons and play video games the normal way as primary hobbies. Even he does not have the latest and greatest. He has a trusty Nintendo64 and a GameCube bought almost two years ago for Christmas that sometimes works and sometimes doesn't.

    Youngest kid is asking for every truck toy he sees on TV this year, but I know how this game works. If I buy them, he will soon have them dismantled, with half the parts lost and the other half scattered around the house for me to step on and he'll be back to building stuff around the house with cardboard boxes, stuff I don't want him building with, and tape. Last year he only wanted goldfish and hermit crabs.

    Anyway, the media with the constant reports of kids being kidnapped and murdered, and all the guilt-based advertising is also not very helpful.

    We've been fortunate in that we didn't ever have money to buy the kids much when they were little and so our kids don't really think that they are supposed to have everything they want and we also live in a place where most of our kids' friends don't have a lot of fancy stuff either (now it's nice, when they get older you have to fight that this area is pretty much a dead end with little to offer besides meth and sex).
    “There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old’s life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs.”
    ~ John Rogers

  7. #37
    4x9 cascadeco's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cafe View Post
    I don't know what things are like elsewhere, but here, the basic of living are pricey- housing, utilities, transportation, food, you pretty much have to work like a dog, probably both parents (assuming there are two) in order to just keep those things going. That leaves parents with little time and energy for kids, but the expectations for parents have not lowered, they've risen. Kids are expected to be under adult supervision at all times. Electronics, etc, OTOH, are very cheap, comparatively speaking and they keep kids entertained indoors where they are safe from all the things you hear about on the news.
    ------------
    Anyway, the media with the constant reports of kids being kidnapped and murdered, and all the guilt-based advertising is also not very helpful.
    Hmm...it sounds like you live in an area where there are a lot of expectations/judgements towards how you raise your kids and whether you're doing it the 'right' way. Or actually maybe this is universal among the parenting world. :-) I don't mean to offend at all; since I don't have kids of my own I can't possibly understand how complicated it must get.

    Your comments on 'safe from all the things you hear about on the news' are interesting to me.

    I do think it's a shame regarding the media; I feel like a lot of people are too afraid of things. Yes, horrible, awful things happen, but I also think it's blown out of proportion, and people live in more fear than is...reasonable. I guess I don't find the media incredibly reliable/credible though, so their 'scare tactics' make me really angry rather than fearful, and guilt-tripping make me laugh or also make me angry.... :-) Hence, I pay little attention to ANY news these days, because I don't value the deliverer - i.e. the media/advertisements. Explaining this to kids, though, when they may see/hear things from their peers, would be the challenge.

  8. #38
    Lex Parsimoniae Xander's Avatar
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    Cafe, I've long been of the opinion that there's some group of people somewhere who seem to think that it's okay to grind down everyone into workaholics and have them doing nothing but toiling 24/7. I'm right up there with the other idealists who think that there should be shorter working hours and more support to do "other things", I just know I'm an idealist

    Recently an advert came out over here saying that their latest mobile allowed you to work whilst out of the office and that isn't this incredible as now you will have more free time. Personally I only came to the conclusion that the same people who think that all waking hours are possible working hours would only see this as yet another method of getting more work into the same number of hours.

    Anyhow I do see the problem, my father was often not at home and was more thank likely knackered when he was at home. It's taken till now, twenty five or so years later, for us to even start on the whole "not just parent - child but friends" thing. My saviour was my mother who only worked part time but I know latch key kids and I've seen how it's inescapable and how it can be really good for the kids.

    "Dad works all the hours available to get me this toy car, I love it"

    The thing is that this seems the exception. Perhaps it's intelligence? Some families seem to go through hardship and no backlash occurs whilst others hit one small (relatively) bump in the road and their kids seem to draw validation for virtual sociopathy!
    Isn't it time for a colourful metaphor?

  9. #39
    Senior Member cafe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Xander View Post
    Cafe, I've long been of the opinion that there's some group of people somewhere who seem to think that it's okay to grind down everyone into workaholics and have them doing nothing but toiling 24/7. I'm right up there with the other idealists who think that there should be shorter working hours and more support to do "other things", I just know I'm an idealist
    Some countries manage it though, don't they? They don't all have 60-70 hour work weeks with no sick days and two weeks of vacation as the norm. Seems like developed nations could do a little better than that, but what do I know?

    Quote Originally Posted by Xander View Post
    Recently an advert came out over here saying that their latest mobile allowed you to work whilst out of the office and that isn't this incredible as now you will have more free time. Personally I only came to the conclusion that the same people who think that all waking hours are possible working hours would only see this as yet another method of getting more work into the same number of hours.
    Yes, and many companies would see it the same.

    Quote Originally Posted by Xander View Post
    Anyhow I do see the problem, my father was often not at home and was more thank likely knackered when he was at home. It's taken till now, twenty five or so years later, for us to even start on the whole "not just parent - child but friends" thing. My saviour was my mother who only worked part time but I know latch key kids and I've seen how it's inescapable and how it can be really good for the kids.

    "Dad works all the hours available to get me this toy car, I love it"

    The thing is that this seems the exception. Perhaps it's intelligence? Some families seem to go through hardship and no backlash occurs whilst others hit one small (relatively) bump in the road and their kids seem to draw validation for virtual sociopathy!
    I think that if things are semi-healthy overall and there is real (but not ridiculously traumatic) hardship, that a lot of kids can get their heads around that and cope. Then there are kids that are kind of forced into a pseudo-adult roles by their parents through co-dependency of some kind. That can cause them to kind of have it together on the outside, but need to get some things worked out before they can be okay with themselves on the inside. And you get the overly pampered who think every little inconvenience is a life crisis and you also have the truly traumatized. I guess there are others, too, but those seem like the major groups.

    Personally, I am protective, but I've never really been able to get real excited about stuff. That doesn't mean I wouldn't like to take my kids to Disney World once before they are grown, though. Our focus has been more of trying to be a stepping stone to normalcy for our kids than Sugar Daddies and buddies. Who knows? Maybe our kids will not realize how good they had it and smother their kids with all the latest and greatest crap that they wanted as kids but didn't get. I hope if they do they will let me take the little boogers camping sans electronics sometimes.
    “There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old’s life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs.”
    ~ John Rogers

  10. #40
    Lex Parsimoniae Xander's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cafe View Post
    Some countries manage it though, don't they? They don't all have 60-70 hour work weeks with no sick days and two weeks of vacation as the norm. Seems like developed nations could do a little better than that, but what do I know?
    Some countries have real low theft rates... I think it's the same ones that remove your hands for it. Doesn't mean it's progress though right?
    Quote Originally Posted by cafe View Post
    I think that if things are semi-healthy overall and there is real (but not ridiculously traumatic) hardship, that a lot of kids can get their heads around that and cope. Then there are kids that are kind of forced into a pseudo-adult roles by their parents through co-dependency of some kind. That can cause them to kind of have it together on the outside, but need to get some things worked out before they can be okay with themselves on the inside. And you get the overly pampered who think every little inconvenience is a life crisis and you also have the truly traumatized. I guess there are others, too, but those seem like the major groups.
    I think the prize could run into the millions if someone could come up with a unified theory that would lead to "healthy" kids. I guess at some point you've got to stop worrying about the minutia and figure that if they are happy and capable of making their way in the world then job done really.
    Quote Originally Posted by cafe View Post
    Personally, I am protective, but I've never really been able to get real excited about stuff. That doesn't mean I wouldn't like to take my kids to Disney World once before they are grown, though. Our focus has been more of trying to be a stepping stone to normalcy for our kids than Sugar Daddies and buddies. Who knows? Maybe our kids will not realize how good they had it and smother their kids with all the latest and greatest crap that they wanted as kids but didn't get. I hope if they do they will let me take the little boogers camping sans electronics sometimes.
    Speaking as someone who got some of the fancy toys, though Disney world was a definite no no, the best memories for me have nothing to do with what was there... more who was there.

    As for friends versus parent-child relationships... I kinda think that it should be a bit like when you work for someone who you get on with. Sure you can have a laugh and the sarcasm isn't all one way but at the end of the day when the boss says jump you still ask how high.
    Isn't it time for a colourful metaphor?

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