Published on May 6th, 2014 | by Bright Kids Books0
Give boredom a chance
Humor for parents with…
Dave O’Neil | Sydney Morning Herald
Go to any restaurant where there’s a family eating and I guarantee you most children will be sitting at the table with a tablet. Mindlessly swiping and playing games, they sit in silence mesmerised by the flashing screen in front of them. And any car trip over 20 minutes these days involves a child and a tablet; the days of ‘I spy’ and ‘spotto’ are gone.
Well, I’m here to tell you we are spawning a generation of children with dulled brains and negligible social skills. But everyone does it? Yeah, everyone bought Joe Dolce’s Shaddap You Face and it went to No. 1, but that doesn’t make it right. People do it because it’s easy and it works. The children don’t play up and behave themselves at the table. I’d rather have garlic bread thrown at me than have a child stare at a screen while waiting for their nuggets. Children should get bored – they need to learn how to deal with boredom.
Then again, we live in a society where computer games, the folly that started all this rot, are treated like a sport. Grown men and women spend day and night playing games which mainly involve shooting, stabbing and blowing stuff up. It’s a massive industry; every shopping mall has a games shop, the ABC has a TV show about gaming, and it’s almost socially acceptable. I say almost, because essentially it’s taking the pinball machine from the pizza shop and building on that concept.
That’s when computer games had their rightful place. A distraction while you waited for your large Hawaiian. You would put your 20 cents in and play Frogger or Galaga, having a great time for THREE MINUTES. And that was the big difference, a time limit. We valued that game of Pac-Man because it was short-lived. Imagine telling a kid these days that their time on the Wii would be limited to three minutes? There’d be a riot on your hands. You could end up with an online protest on Facebook.
Call me Amish or a Luddite, but I don’t believe these games are doing our kids any good.