Back on 12/31/12 Melinda wrote a post about Shaun and his love of gadgets. Xbox, TV, iPod and computer mean everything to Shaun and his life seems to revolve around them.
Recently while at dinner with Melinda’s parents her father asked us why Shaun was blinking so fast and hard. Just an hour before dinner Shaun was playing Xbox Live with a few of his friend for probably three to fours hours so we told him video games was the reason. He told us that it didn’t look good and he was concerned and I must admit after hearing his concern I understand why he felt that way. Once we got home Melinda and I sat down with Shaun and told him three to fours hours of video games a day wasn’t good for him and we placed a limit on his gaming. During the week he could only play for an hour and on the weekend we let him play for about two hours.
After having this discussion Melinda and I noticed another problem related to video games cropping up. Shaun has always disliked doing homework (what kid doesn’t to some degree) but since he got Xbox Live his hatred of homework has become more and more of a problem for us to the point where he was rushing so fast to get it done so he could play his hour of Xbox that there was so much wrong with his work that he needed to do it all over again. Like I mentioned Shaun hates doing homework the first time so you can imagine how he reacted when we told him he needed to redo his homework. It was an instant meltdown and total fight because all he had on his mind was playing Xbox Live.
Another problem we are having is he is in the 4th grade and has a hard time spelling simple words. Shaun is not a dummy by any means and I know part of the problem is him not thinking and just rushing because he is focused on playing video games. It also doesn’t help that at this point in the game his school doesn’t seem to place any emphasis at all on vocabulary. All school year long he has received math and reading homework but not a single vocabulary list. I can remember having to study vocabulary all of the time for weekly tests when I was in elementary school but not Shaun because he hasn’t gotten one vocab list all year. So Melinda printed a 4th grade vocabulary list from the internet and we have been quizzing him. The first time I quizzed him he couldn’t spell some of the simplest words that I felt any 4th grader should know so Melinda and I put another rule in place. We quiz him daily on random words from the list and for every word he gets right he get two minutes of Xbox time and for every word he gets wrong we take one minute away. I feel bad doing this to him but like I told him he needs to be able to spell words like correct, royal and bananas without any trouble. Today I quizzed him and he did awesome, he got 45 right and 10 wrong so he got a decent amount of Xbox time today.
I told Melinda that we need to quiz Shaun daily on vocab and hopefully his spelling will get better. I am sure it will over time as long as we stick to our rules we should be fine and so should he.
Us as a society always seem to want more and more technology to make our lives easier but sometimes I feel like we are so surrounded with it that it’s to hard to manage. Kids don’t use their imagination like they used to ten years ago and I feel like that is hurting them in the long run.
How do you manage technology? Do you have rules and time limits in place?