Thursday, August 1, 2013

Take Some Responsibility

Having a child is not easy. CTFD, you say. You were ignored for hours every day and you turned out just fine.

Think about that a little harder. When I was a child we lived in a different world. We lived in walkable neighborhoods and spent hours playing impromptu active games outdoors, now my kids need to be driven to soccer or the pool if I want them to get exercise. The schools were adequately funded, now my youngest son’s school district just fired all of the elementary school art, music, and gym teachers. There was a lot less scientific knowledge to master, less computer skills to learn, and fewer standardized tests that put the emphasis on the easy to measure instead of the important.

Yet, despite the more complex world that we live in, “the average child in the United States watches 3 to 4 hours a day of television” with predictable results. The problem, as I see it, is not the small minority of hypercompetitive parents, pushing their kids to get to Harvard, it is the vast majority of parents that don’t take seriously developing their kids potential. The benefits of time spent reading, learning music, foreign languages, and getting regular, vigorous exercise are well documented. but most parents allow television and video games to be the one eyed babysitter, crowding out real development, instead of engaging their kids. So, don’t CTFD -- step up to the plate and parent like it matters. Parenting is no joke.

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