Kids are awfully jaded these days. I sense this goes beyond the proverbial “kids these days” motto of each generation — to some new warp speed warping of their little minds. Maybe jaded is not quite the right word — just worldly beyond their years?
Case in point: although we strictly limited the amount of TV that our kids could watch when they were young, the Little One still grew up too fast. At three, he announced that “Sesame Street was for babies”. (????) We had shielded him from lots of mainstream kids’ TV programming to avoid all the commercialism and the sugary-cereal-seduction and the shows with annoying character traits. (Caillou, for example, was just a whiner.) We didn’t want him watching many commercials aimed at kids at all, so we mostly watched PBS. Being a pre-DVR baby, it took more effort.
Of course, it happened anyway.
Looking back, I’m sure our family’s frequent marathons of watching professional sports had something to do with his speedy media maturation. There’s nothing like a non-stop feed of erectile dysfunction commercials to broaden a kid’s horizon. But as I think of all four of us snuggled together, cheering on the Packers, I’m not sure what I would have done differently.
Author Marybeth Hicks has a great book, “Bringing Up Geeks: Genuine, Enthusiastic, Empowered Kids”. She talks about how the media is really the “other parent” in our kids’ lives, because it has so much influence on how they grow up. Check out her website in the Links section.
G.E.E.K. is the new Cool — the concept strikes a cord with kids. Our Lego Robotics team adopted the phrase as their team slogan!