In Technology Wii Trust

wii

Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts be counted.

-Albert Einstein

It’s that time of year again; your mailbox is chock full of glossy catalogs while the Sunday newspaper is brimming with adverting circulars. We’re thinking ahead to holiday gifts for our children and technology gifts do have such great appeal.

Before you go out and buy the newest gadgets, you might want to think about the recent findings released by Nielsen. Kids ages 2 to 5 watch on average 32 hours of television a week, while 6 to 11 year olds watch more than 28 hours. The analysis based on the fourth quarter of 2008, measured children’s consumption of live and recorded TV, and game console use.

I’ve heard parents praise the educational value of children’s programming and fun of game consoles, but are they being truthful about their feelings? Would parents rather have children play pretend Wii sports or the real ones? Which choice would provide fresh air, real movement and learning to play with others so they are better prepared for the real world? Would parents prefer to outsource their child learning colors, letters and numbers to Sesame Street or use that time better to build relationships with children?

Perhaps we fall back to the TV and technology because we believe it is safe; after all it’s indoors and under our watch. But our fears and time constraints that cause us to make the easier choice may be the wrong answer in the long term. Less is more unless, we’re talking about time.

Don’t be pressured to buy things for your child that you don’t agree with or can’t really afford. See the question and answer posed by a parent to Parental Wisdom’s advisors.

We live in a very affluent community yet we are not that wealthy at all. My daughter often seems frustrated that her friends are able to do some things and buy some things that we cannot afford. Although I understand her frustration, how can I make her understand our situation and keep her grounded? She is 8 years old.
See question and answers

You can also visit the website for Parental Wisdom advisor, Dr. Stevanne Auerbach, aka Dr. Toy to find out about the best toys for 2009.

A new book by Parental Wisdom advisor, Mary Strom Larson, is also helpful.

Have a great week!
Tina Nocera, Founder
Parental Wisdom

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4 Comments »

  1. Dr. Jim Taylor reminded me of something else. Recently, the Baby Einstein products made a decision to stop calling their products educational.

    As he said, “Great grassroots triumph!”

  2. Well said, Tina. I totally agree that kids should be encouraged to play outside, participate in real sports to learn about teamwork, and interact with their own parents to get the best modeling of behavior and parent chosen information for their own development. Of course, no one is saying that parents are perfect, but the experiential value of real life, in my opinion, far outweighs the digital or virtual versions of activities for kids.

    Keep up the great work you do by providing the Parental Wisdom website for parents!

  3. With real life, you can control the pace. Run around in a park, then come inside for wind-down time. I liked the calmness of Mr. Rogers, but I always thought that Sesame Street was just too frenetic, as is so much of today’s TV/Videogame/Handheld-game market. No wonder kids get wound up. By contrast, there’s nothing like snuggling up with books and instrumental music in the background – for all of us!

  4. Thank you, Tina, for that strongly focused reminder to all of us.

    Here’s an added benefit from the perspective of a Baby Boomer: when we get our kids involved in physical activities, we often join them and benefit physically ourselves.

    And speaking as one who was never a great athlete (I usually did what I called the “arts of sports” since I announced football and basketball in high school for four years rather than playing – my playing was baseball (my best JV position was “left out”) and tennis (they felt sorry for me and gave me a letter my senior year for my work on the second doubles team)), we all need physical activity as we grow older and our metabolism slows down.

    It gets tougher to “begin” the physical activity as we get older… but it’s really needed. I say: Join your kids now and have a great time together.

    Charlie Seymour Jr
    http://twitter.com/AllFromMyKids

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