Monday, June 14, 2010

Are you going with the high-tech flow?

I have often wondered how -- amid all the apparent advantages of growing up in this age of computerized, push-button and automatic everything -- children and teens will learn the art of waiting.

How would one teach his child the virtue of patience when things can be accomplished quickly and easily? Need to find a piece of information? Go look it up in a library. Need to find a book? Head for the card catalogue and look for it. Need to talk with a friend on the phone? Go to the telephone and dial his number.

Want to play a song from an audio cassette tape? Hit fast forward or rewind till you find it (and learn estimating in the process).

Planning a meet-up with friends? Set a time and place (no "bahala na, will text you later" option). Wait if someone is 5, 10 minutes late (no "wru?" option and no re-sending the message 3 minutes later out of impatience when there's no reply).

Looking for entertainment? Create your own games, make your own playthings, use objects around the home and transform them into a bridge, a bahay-bahayan, a fort for the toy soldiers... the options are endless. Use your imagination.

Want to make a "Happy birthday!" or "Welcome home!" streamer? Get some Manila paper, pencils, colored markers, crayons, and use your creativity (no computer-aided printouts).

Want to communicate with people from foreign countries? Write letters by hand, seal the envelope, go to the post office and mail the letters. Then wait at least a month for a reply. Be patient.
The way I see it, there's a lot that today's world has to offer kids, but these kids are somewhat deprived. Of what? Well, unless their parents are pro-active and discerning, they miss out on opportunities to learn and grow in patience. There are invaluable life lessons that cannot be learned from texting messages and spending hours on Facebook.

Check out Baby Magazine's June issue for some insights on all this high-tech gadgetry surrounding our children and (almost) taking over our lifestyle. More about it from Petrufied.

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