The Dilemma: Is technology a "friendly" source of pleasure or something to be watchful of?Birthdays come around so quickly anymore. I can still see my kids as infants running around in nothing but a diaper, so when another year passes, it always takes me by surprise. This year my husband and I had a dilemma. Should we cave in and get my son the latest technology gizmo that some of his elementary school friends already have, or should we hold off on getting him hooked on computerized games at what I think is too young an age? The toy he was hinting at is the Nintendo DS, and we are pretty familiar with this gaming system because my daughter received one for her birthday just this past year. (Yes, we caved in, but we figured she was now old enough, and besides, she is so involved with other activities and her friends, that playing the games-which consist mainly of career exploration activities-isn’t a premium interest.)My son, on the other hand, has school, activities at home, and the occasional soccer match in the spring to keep him occupied. So the real fear is his getting “hooked” on the gaming since it might be the most appealing activity he has right now.
The DecisionWell, we decided to focus instead on feeding his imagination and keeping his body fit. I worry when some of the teenagers I come into contact with at school tell me about how late they were up the night before playing these games, so why should I start my son down this road now? He has a wonderful imagination, and he often shares his latest storyline when he is playing with some of his super hero action figures. He can also play with Legos and puzzles for hours because he seems to be fascinated with putting things together. So we are still going to keep the super hero theme alive and get him action figures and toys that let him think, and since the weather is still nice, we are getting some things that will promote his activities outdoors. It is my hope that years from now he probably won’t remember the computer game that was popular at the time, but he will remember running around outside with his friends and family.