Fuckin’ kids these days.
I don’t know if I can narrow down what my main beef is with techy toys for kids. I have so many beefs to choose from:
- The excessive amount of time kids spend by themselves hunched over little screens while their eyes bug out
- Their thumb muscles work out more than the rest of their body
- Increasingly difficult for parents to control what their kid sees/hears/learns about without their parents knowing
- Many parents don’t “understand” the technology and therefore cannot regulate it properly, allowing their kids to see/do WHATEVER they want
- Internet + Kids – Parents = Trouble. Period.
- Apps (which don’t require personal interaction) are now more fun than board games (which exist because of personal interaction)
- Life is lived online. Goodbye privacy. My daughter’s generation will never fully know what it means for something to happen in private
I think you get the point. I have beefs with technology. So when my daughter asked me to get her an iPod Touch for her birthday a couple of weeks ago, I laughed right in her face. The only techy toy she owns is a Nintendo DSi XL which was her “big” Christmas gift in 2011. She desperately begged me for the 3D DSi this past Christmas and again, I was very laughy in her facey. I’m an asshole, I know.
To give my kid some credit, she’s at an unfair disadvantage because of her position in our family. I have a little sister that is 11 years old and she has had a cell phone, iPod, laptop, Nook, etc. since she was 8, 9 and 10 years old. Now that my daughter is entering that age range, she thought that she would be next in line for the cool shit! Sorry sister, I’m not into making kids into spoiled little shit head brats like my mother is (now). I’m more like my mother used to be (20 years ago) when I too was denied all the cool shit and felt like the most loserish kid in school.
C’est la vie my child, you too must feel that loserish feeling. You wanna know why? Because you are not a whiny, bratty little kid like your girl scout friends are. You are never seen sitting in a room full of people ignoring them all because your face is stuck to a fucking screen. You are not that kid in a restaurant who has to be fed electronic toys to shut up while waiting for dinner. You can think for yourself, you can entertain yourself, your attention span is longer than 15 seconds, and most importantly… you will appreciate the shit out of those nice gadgets when they finally do fall into your hands.
Case in point: Little J saved up enough birthday money to afford a Kindle Fire. I let her buy it from Gamestop. She treats it like GOLD. Charges it, carries it around in a little bag to prevent it being damaged, pays me money when she wants to buy apps… happy as a fucking clam. And I am too because I didn’t have to dig into my own pockets, and I Parental Controlled the shit out of the device. Oh, and I’m teaching her how to manage money, prioritize wants/needs (buying apps vs buying a screen protector) and be responsible or some shit like that. Go me!
In case you are wondering where she gets all this money from, besides her birthday – she gets $2 each week if she does her chores, there are 5 things daily she’s responsible for. She has the option to earn .50 cents for each extra chore she does, which is whatever I need help with at the time when she’s asking.
This morning she begged me to unblock the internet because she’s taking the Kindle to her friend’s for a sleepover tonight, I said hell to the fuckin no. Wanna know why? Cause the girl’s house she’s going to is a technologically unregulated environment. SAY WHAT NOW?! I made that description up. But the kid’s parents are either clueless that their daughters watch questionable videos on YouTube and have figured out ways to interact/chat with other human beings on-line or they simply don’t care. Last time J was there she told me they watched a video where the guy in it was cursing but it was bleeped out so it was okay. That is NOT okay dude.
I can’t control what other parents let their kid’s do while mine is around, but I sure as hell can control what mine does. When I drop her off tonight, I will tell the parents that she’s not allowed to watch videos online and that the girls were watching something inappropriate last time little J was there. What they do with that info is up to them… but if I hear any other crazy stories, that will be the end of playdates at their place. Period.