A Bodey in Motion

Building momentum, one step at a time

A Parent’s Role in Media

Alright, in my house are three kids, two Nintendo DS, a Wii, an iPad, and several computers. Needless to say, a lot of video games get played in our home. So, we have all the parental concerns regarding the amount of time spent playing, and how to protect our kids from negative messages in the content they’re viewing. What should a good parent do?

Well, first let’s hear what the folks at Extra Credits have to say about it.

[via Penny Arcade]

It’s tempting, when your kid is consumed by an activity that seems to isolate them from you, to cut it off. You want to protect them from the pain of their decisions, and that can blind you to the opportunities that you have to teach them and bond through their new obsession.

Ideally, games are meant to be played together with others. With a little work on the parent’s part, they can be one of the “others” for their kids.

What do you know about that game that your child is playing? If the answer is “nothing,” you’re in luck. You live in the age of the Interweb tubes. Go watch a couple of walk-through videos on YouTube. Find the game’s wiki and do a little reading. Research more about the game so you can talk with them about it. Even the “bad” games out there can provide you a chance to interact and talk about life in a meaningful way.

It just requires your patience and involvement.

Advertisements

September 6, 2013 Posted by | Marriage and Family | , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on A Parent’s Role in Media

Having the “Talk”

I don’t really remember exactly how I let it happen. All I know was that I was driving home with my oldest daughter, talking about this and that as we often do when we’re alone. Somehow the this and the that lead to her asking me a question that would change everything.

“Why do women have vaginas?”

Crud.

Wriggle your way out of that one, Mom. (Click for more.)

I was stuck, because my daughter was aware that she had asked something big, and there was no way she was letting me out of it.

Mind you, I knew that this conversation was coming eventually, but I really wanted to pawn it off on my wife. She has the biology degree, y’know. She would be far more clinical and careful. I should have known better, though. Trying to dump responsibility on my wife never goes well for me.

So, off I went. As soon as we got home, I pulled her and her brother aside and we wound our way through it all.

Anatomy. Intercourse. Menstruation. Pregnancy. Childbirth.

We talked about being appropriate, mistakes you can make, and the dangers of being irresponsible.

My wife has a gay brother in a committed relationship, so we even talked some about homosexuality.

It wasn’t a short conversation, and the kids walked away feeling both satisfied and horrified. They have a basic enough understanding now to know what’s coming, though, and we now have the opportunity to talk with them honestly about it whenever it comes up (and it has).

The sex “talk” is difficult, but ultimately beneficial for both you and your children.

So, I’ve shared all of that to ask you this:

Have you had the money “talk” with your kids?

In our culture, we’ve become more comfortable discussing sex, even with our children, than we are about discussing money. Whether it’s successes or struggles, there is a sense of taboo around sharing our financial lives except in the most intimate of relationships (and maybe not even then).

The problem is, as important as an honest sex talk is, an honest money talk is a hundred times more so. Our lives aren’t all about our money, but money touches every part of our lives. Money is life fuel. Sex can’t make that claim.

So, you have to wind your way through all the details.

Income. Saving. Spending. Debt. Investing.

How to act appropriately with money, the mistakes you can make, and the dangers of being irresponsible.

If you don’t think you know enough to have the “talk” with your kids, then it’s time to learn. Take a class. Read a few books about home finances. Just so you can have the opportunity to talk with them honestly about it. It might be difficult, but it will be totally worth it. For both you and your kids.

September 3, 2013 Posted by | Marriage and Family, Work and Money | , , , , , | 2 Comments

Quick Hits: Teach kids about money. After they put down the game controller. A camp stove that charges your cell phone.

  • Return of the Quick HitsBack when I was growing up as a, my education regarding sex was made up of one uneasy lecture by my mother, a surprisingly dull sex-ed lesson in the fifth grade, and almost a decade of juvenile conversations with boys my own age who had no idea what they were talking about. Believe me, this produced laughable and shameful results in a number of ways. Still, all of that was better than my education regarding money. Strangely, among my young friends, the topics of economics and investing never came up. My school made us all complete a lesson on how to fill out a checkbook. (How useful is that in the age of Debit cards and Amazon.com?) And my parents had most of their money fights in private. In both cases, a bad education led to bad decisions and difficult consequences. Stop it. You need to know the secrets of talking to your kids about money.  (And sex, too, but I’m not going to Google ‘children’ and ‘sex’ in the same sentence anytime soon.)
  • It’s been said that it takes about 10,000 hours of practice to master a skill. The sad thing is that by the time they’ve graduated high-school, most teenagers have spent 10,000 hours playing video games. Now, that sounds bad, and I’m sure that we can argue that a life spent glued to a screen would lack some very necessary elements. But we need to be careful not to throw out the good with the bad, because there are some benefits to your child being a gamer.
  • I’ve started camping more since my son joined the scouts, which means I’ve had to start buying more and more camping gear. We now have a tent, some sleeping bags, a heavy tarp and a camping cooler. With more and more of the basics out of the way, it’s time to start looking for some camping toys. I am sorely tempted to get a BioLite CampStove, because it would be so cool to charge my crappy cell phone while cooking dinner on a vortex of flame using only a pile of twigs. Great price tag, too.

June 3, 2013 Posted by | Quick Hits and Links | , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Quick Hits of the Week

  • The goal of every parent is to raise their kids to be the men and women that they’re meant to be. Before they get too old though, they need to do those things that really matter. So, if you’ve got a pre-teen, you might want to peruse this list of 50 things to do before you’re twelve, and figure out what your kid has been missing out on.

May 24, 2012 Posted by | Quick Hits and Links | , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Quick Hits of the Week