As we search for a solution to the present “Ipad crisis” the kids’ eyes are becoming more square.
With our “Family 1” (as we call our first 8 kids of 15 total) we were computer-less because computers were not very commonplace. In fact, we had our first 5 kids before our household got its first personal computer back in 1988. It was a Mac SE30, black and white 9 inch screen that Margaret used for her work doing desktop publishing. Since it was the first one we had, and it was for working, we didn’t have many games and only allowed very limited time on it for our kids.
At that time, when the kids (up to 7 years old) used it for more than 1/2 hour, we’d physically turn their head to look them in the eyes and say with a serious, concerned look on our face “Oh, oh, your eyes are starting to turn square from looking at the square computer screen too long… time to get away and do something different.” Being so gullible, they’d go immediately to the mirror to see their “square eyes.” By the time they got to the mirror, their eyes were back to normal.
The computer games were fun for the kids, but they got bored with them soon and would go outside or do other, more engaging types of activities. They actually used their imaginations and got more exercise back then as they entertained themselves without much use of computers.
Now, the outdoor ice rink is buried and goes un-used, the snowmobile has not been out of the garage and the sledding hills are still waiting for kids to use them. The Ipads, laptop computers and smartphones have taken over our lives… they don’t even want to get out ice-fishing or downhill skiing at Bohemia anymore.
This calls for some drastic action, but do we take them away completely, or just highly regulate their use? The computers are a necessity in our house as well as a toy, because the kids are attending virtual school and need computers on a daily basis for schoolwork. It’s hard to tell sometimes if they are working or playing. The Ipads are not as useful, and may not be necessary for schoolwork, so should we only allow them at certain times, and hopefully force them to revert back to other activities?
We will be working on fixing this “problem” even though I realize it’s not a great problem in the scheme of things… they could be doing much worse than playing electronic games. It’ll be good fodder for our family meeting this week.