The red hat with earflaps - the fashion acorn doesn't fall far from the tree.
After a busy but enjoyable four-day weekend, it's tough getting back in the blogging spirit. The LWW and I have fed the masses (27) on Thanksgiving, had a great visit with my mom, sister, brother and his family, and enjoyed the longer stay of my daughter, son-in-law and grandsons. And now it's just a quiet, snowy Sunday. Almost too quiet.
I am always somewhat astounded by the degree to which my grandsons, ages seven and three, are little mass-media tech-heads. This despite their parents being genuinely cautious about how much access the boys have to the computer, video games, and television. They can't seem to NOT be Net Genners from whom I always learn a good deal...
- Part of the appeal of coming to this grandpa and grandma's house (beside the sugared cereal) is permission to play the Captain Underpants games on the Dave Pilkey website. Who knew?
- One distinction between Boba Fett and Jango Fett from Star Wars is that one has two pistols and the other only has one. This but a scintilla of the encyclopedic information that both the seven-year-old and three-year-old have about the Star Wars mythos.I hope some day they will learn their world history as well.
- There are 414 different products that appear in the Amazon.com toy area when the term "lego star wars" is searched. The boys are still missing one or two, it seems. And I thought reviewing these offerings would be an easy way to get Christmas gift ideas.
- Grandpa's iPod was a hit. The battery doesn't last as long in the hands of kids. As the LWW observed, this, the iPod, is the computer that today's kids will always want.
- Not having a DVR (like Tivo) makes me an pitiable antique. "We have to watch commercials?"
- Despite being raised in an aggressively non-violent household (is that an oxymoron?), both boys delight in hand-held weaponry. Their uncle's old Nerf shooters are particularly prized. So many computer games involve blasting something, it isn't all that surprising, I suppose. That along with the that Y-chromosome.
- The movie Bolt was a much better movie than I expected and great fun in 3-D. Well, it was fun for five of us - the three-year-old refused to wear the glasses and watched it in fuzzy 2-D. Depite the ready availablity of DVDs of lots of movies at home, it seems going to the theater is still special and desired. Must be the popcorn.
- Even my small computer-loving grandsons still delight bookstores. And Grandpa is usually good for a couple of additions to the home library. The boys also still delight in reading. Thank goodness.
- The movie Wall-E is even better the second viewing. And I felt the picture was better watching it in Blu-ray here at home than in the theater.
- Why does McDonalds put video games in its playland areas? I don't mind the kids being too excited to eat wanting to go on the slides and such, but too excited wanting to play a Ronald McDonald video game? Uh, super-size that chance at childhood obesity, please.
- Kids won't eat beets even when Grandpa makes them.
- When Dad announced it was time to go home, the little grandson started to cry. Kind of how I felt too.
A recent MacArthur sponsored report, Living and Learning with New Media: Summary of Findings from the Digital Youth Project, argues for youth access to online resources:
Many adults worry that children are wasting time online, texting, or playing video games. The researchers explain why youth find these activities compelling and important. The digital world is creating new opportunities for youth to grapple with social norms, explore interests, develop technical skills, and experiment with new forms of self-expression. These activities have captured teens’ attention because they provide avenues for extending social worlds, self-directed learning, and independence.
I believe balance is needed. I am very glad my grandsons are still involved in Cub Scouts, swimming lessons, and other non-computerized activities. Very glad.
Raising children to be well-rounded, hard-working adults with a good value system has never been an easy job. Quite honestly, I don't envy my daughter and son-in-law this challenging task that seems more difficult today than ever. But my grandsons are delightful young men - smart, funny and beautiful - so their parents must be doing something right.