Thoughts of a mom of an over-gadgeted kid10:50 AM
I grew up playing outdoors with my siblings and the kids in our neighborhood. We played chako, patintero, agawan base, Monkey, Monkey, the list goes on. During times that we were not allowed to play outdoors, we contented ourselves in playing pretend under the dining table. Together with my sibings, I traveled to the Pyramids of Giza and even to the moon!
My boy is the total opposite of who I was as a child. He doesn't play outside with the neighbors' kids and his only playtime is spent with his classmates in school. At home, he busies himself with his gadgets. He has a Wii, a Playstation 3, a PSP, a netbook, a touchscreen wi-fi capable phone, and lately, his iPod Touch. I admit, my boy is an over-gadgeted kid and we are guilty of having provided all of these.
Then again, I believe that he deserved his "treasures" because all of these are rewards for a job well done in school. He strives to get the gold medal or silver medal every school year so that we won't have to pay much for his tuition.
I hope you don't get the impression that my boy is a brat. I'm a strict disciplinarian and I'm glad that my boy has grown accustomed to following my rules especially when it comes to studying. During the school year, the only gadget that he uses every day is his phone and he clearly knows that he can't call/text in class lest he wants it to be confiscated. At home, he only gets to use his netbook for research and school-related computer work (he's a writer in his school paper, by the way). He can only play his video games Friday night until Saturday night. Come Sunday, he goes back to his text books for some advanced reading. For the iPod, my husband and I agreed that he cannot bring it to school.
I believe that it's okay to provide kids with gadgets as long as parents impose limits to its use. I also believe that us parents can use these gadgets to our advantage. I personally led my boy to a Chinese-language tutorial podcast and he's now having a grand time learning the language. I just watch him closely because there are also adult material that he can access over iTunes.
Since he pretty much has the gadgets that he can have, we won't be buying him new gadgets for the meantime. In fact, his only request is for us to reward him with a bigger electronic piano keyboard after the school year's Recognition Day. This gives me more time to save up on the bluray home theatre system that my husband and I have been dreaming of.
Are your kids also into gadgets? Do you share my sentiments?
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