Sunday morning's Business section column in the Kenosha News, from Michelle Singletary of the Washington Post hit the nail on the head. She talks about her disgust with the music industry and communications companies targeting the TWEEN (8-12 yr. old) and teen population. Well, I am a parent of two tweens, and a teacher to 100 teens, and I completely agree. My two children do not have cell phones or iPods, but I asked them about their peers. They reported that many do. WHY? Why are we feeding into this instant gratification and materialistic society. We are creating a monster, from which we will never be able to turn back from. So, as a teacher, I have to plan about three different activities to fill my 47 minute period, and can't expect to hold my students attention for more than about 12 minutes.......they don't know how to wait, to listen, to be patient..........and often, they have to answer the phone, yes, even during class, they try to sneak their phone and respond to a text message. I feel like I am interrupting something by trying to teach!
As fiscal conservatives and people that believe in less government, we must teach our children to live on small budgets, just as we expect Madison to learn to. They need to "earn" an allowance and save money. And, as Michelle says, "go read". My son is a ravenous reader, and my daughter can still appreciate Barbies. They ride their bikes to the park, play outside, and are forced to "create" fun. They still think it is exciting to go the library. This digital age is creating bored children that lack creativity and patience. SO, as a parent and teacher, I hope that Easter baskets were filled with bubbles, books, and maybe a jump rope - not digital gifts!