Saturday, November 08, 2003

Deprived Children
We are the only U.S. household without cable and without gaming systems according to my 14 year old sons. That makes them deprived and their parents depraved.

My husband and I gave away our TV after we first married and did not miss it at all. I confess, though, I bought a TV, VCR and a Lion King tape exactly ten days after we adopted the boys (at almost six years of age). I swore I would never use TV as a babysitter, but I needed a break, and so did they, from such intense emotions and the hard work of building parental attachments.

We are still stingy with watching TV and renting a movie is a "big event" at our home. We enjoy the family time immensely, and because rentals are so sparse, we can always find a good movie for the family. We watch classics (African Queen is the parent's favorite), musicals (the twins learned the songs from My Fair Lady when they were 8 years old), westerns (got to give in to the testosterone in this all male house occasionally), comedies (very difficult to find an acceptable comedy film for children, so we reverted to Love Bug. Note to self - try the Marx Brothers next time.) You get the idea.

This is not at all where I was going with the post. It has been our position not to have gaming systems in the house. The boys are free to buy their own and play all day and all night once they have their own house. Our concern is the addictive nature of games to young boys. Reality, not virtual reality, offers so much and one of our parental goals is to introduce our children to all sorts of experiences. Then they can sort it out and choose what they want to do. So we take nature hikes together, we bake together, we work wood together, we try our hands at crafts, we had a summer of photography (Ricky was Grand Champion in our county and then got a blue ribbon at state fair), we go for night cruises in the country, we watch stars, we go to the Philharmonic together, we go to art, science, history museums, and we work together.

Parents: "Life is good." Sons: "We want a PS2."

So back to the original point. No gaming system in the house.

Ron shared with me that he plans to build a cabin in the meadow next summer. Great, I think, woodworking and nature interests stuck. But no, he continued, "And I will buy a PS2, computer, TV, DVD to put in it, so they won't be in the house."

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