Reading Around the Table

So I’m the first one to think that children on devices isn’t a good thing. As a retired educational psychologist, I feel that there are certain basic needs that children are provided through integration and interaction with other people. Reading, playing, waiting, finding something to do…there have been many articles on the impact of today’s parents on devices and children themselves on devices. I’m not going to quote them or even link them.

Instead I’m just going to tell you about my family. I am the middle of three sisters. We loved games. You name it: Monopoly, Aggravation, Clue, Chinese Checkers, Checkers, Chess, Canasta, Hearts, Spades, Crazy Eights, Old Maid, Flinch. We had a big chest—which supposedly had belonged to an original German immigrant ancestor who dodged the draft and came to the United States—filled with our games.

We also played outside a lot. And we didn’t have a television until I was in fourth grade or so. And even then there wasn’t much programming for kids. Saturday morning cartoons and Sunday after-dinner Disney.

Sounds good, right?

Ha! The picture I have in my head is dinner. We are all around the table with our noses buried in books. No one is talking, no one is paying attention to anyone else. No one is asking how anyone else’s day went, or what they think of anything. And it was really the same for breakfast and lunch, but we generally weren’t at the table at the same time for those meals.

So…I guess what I’m saying is one of two things. 1) As a parent you could make up for the non-social time with lots of quality time, maybe a ten-to-one ratio (ten interactive events, to one solitary event) OR 2) My sisters and I really aren’t very well adjusted.