Sunday, January 31, 2010

change in our days

well i am happy to say, thanks to my change in our routine, that my kids are not spending hours and hours every day on the computer. something that i was really feeling was a problem. over time, i managed to gradually wean them from that and now they are at the point that they MIGHT get an hour on the computer (IF they do their chores), and some days they just don't get any. and they are finding lots of other things to play.

i've also managed to, for the most part, get us off SO MUCH tv watching. this also took months to get it down to where its at now...and there are still days that they watch more than others. but for the most part, its just not on so much. and when it is on...99.9% of the time (100% for the kids) its on PBS. none of us watch network tv anymore....at least the kids not at all (unless i happen to go check something out quickly, which is rare), and me and adam very rarely. i only watch a couple shows online and haven't had to deal with commercials at all in so long, and i just realized how refreshing that is!

now that's not to say that things won't ever change again...i'm starting to get the hang of how these things go...someone gets sick or have a bad day and the tv or computer can easily be used to help solve a situation. but now that they are not getting much of either, i really don't feel too bad about that. its not like they are in front of either all day and then i put them in front of one of them again. :)

so i'm feeling pretty damn good about this. and i have to pat myself on the back when stuff like this happens that i feel i actually did RIGHT, since i feel so much every day that i think i'm doing WRONG. and there's still so much to work on. but i am feeling good right now so i had to blog about it.

oh and they do watch dvds, but we are careful picking those out and even when we watching something that is, say, disney (something we really try not to do a lot of....but we do watch a few)...we are able to fast forward the parts that we don't like for our kids to see, or that scare them. we've learned our lesson that the movie theater is just not a place for our kids as they got freaked out by "cloudy w/a chance of meatballs" at the end with all the drama in stereo sound blasting at them...so dvds at home are safe and we can fast forward or turn down the sound if it gets too dramatic for either of them. seems to work for us.

anyway, i'm just feeling good about all this and wanted to toot my horn. i know i've mentioned some of this before, but i just wanted to toot again, cuz after the horrid emotions of yesterday, i needed something to feel good about. :)

right now, i should mention, PBS is on and we are watching/listening (mostly listening) to some fabulous classical music. makes me remember that i want to get us to the fresno phil so my kids (at least maeven, tyr may be too young still) can experience live music. that's on my list of things to do this year...get out to see things live. the learning village can make it happen, and in a group setting, so i'm ON it!!

anyway, mama points for me! i am doing something right, for a change! :)

Sunday, January 03, 2010

seriously, i don't get it

this is all coming from an email i just got just now, so bear with me as i just need to vent...

i just had someone email me because he says that he knows that i am trying to promote nonviolent games and that he made this video where he interviewed his friends and thought i'd find it interesting.

well it basically is a commercial for the game "call of duty 2", an EXTREMELY violent war game. i'm not going to link to the video or info on that game because i'm not interested in promoting either. the video actually was pretty well made in so far as technical issues, but i couldn't stomach the constant violent scenes from the game and the casual way these young teen boys were talking about how "fun" it was. and how there's nothing wrong with playing these sort of games, yada yada yada. bleh.

i'm guessing he found me via the website i host on the subject of marketing violence to children, the lion and lamb project...which isn't actually my site but a site of a friend of mine that did many years of research and work on that project and was closing it down, when i offered to keep the info up on the web for her. its a fantastic site and i can't see how anyone that read any of the research on there could even argue that violent games, toys, movies, etc are anything but bad for kids.

what gets me is that if you talked to all the many loving, caring parents who think its perfectly fine for their kids to watch violent images on tv/movies/games...if you asked them why its ok, most would probably say "its make believe, its not real." and that their kids can tell the difference between make believe and real...well, ok so then what if it was a game or tv show about a sex act? would THAT be ok for them to watch? its just make believe, right? (i'm not talking porn, i mean actual acting) its not actually happening, its just on tv or a game, right? so why would that be bad for kids to watch? i think most parents would be horrified at the thought (although there would be some that would think that's ok, *shudder*).

so, goodness no, don't show my children anything involving sex, which is actually a normal and natural thing that most children will grow up to engage in...but bring on the killing and maiming, and beating the hell out of another human being.

well then they might say that that's not good for kids because is IS something that they will probably do some day and they don't need to learn about it yet...whereas the violence, the killing, the kicking the shit out of someone, the stabbing and shooting and blowing people up...that's all something they won't ever do, right?

ok so what if its a show or game about a rape? that's hopefully not something that most of their children (although admittedly there will be some that will) will ever do, right? and its make believe, right? its not actually happening, right? so then is THAT ok for them to watch? no, of course not!

but watching (or being the one doing it in a game)...things like stabbing someone in the face or kicking someone in the head, or jumping on someone and stomping them to the ground, or shooting someone in the gut with and explosion of blood...that's ok?

so its NOT ok for kids to pretend to or watch someone beat up and rape another person, but its perfectly ok for them to pretend to or watch someone beat up and KILL another person? gee i think if they did that in real life they usually get a much stronger sentence for murder.

wait...but maybe its because when someone is being raped they are the victim? whereas the violent shows are all about beating bad guys, right? no, not actually. the violence in games and movies/tv isn't restricted just to the bad guys. the bad guys do their fair share of kicking butt as well, remember?

well i'm sorry but i'm not ok with my children pretending to hurt anyone, or getting any kind of enjoyment from watching anyone get hurt. in any sense of the word, be it physically, verbally, psychologically, etc. (to be perfectly honest, i'm not happy about my husband enjoying those games/movies either...but he's an adult and makes his own decisions.)

if you can sit there and understand why its wrong for a child to watch a dramatized rape, why can you not understand why it is just as wrong for them to watch a dramatized assault or murder?
(i'm not asking anyone, i'm just talking to the air, wondering aloud.)

seriously? i don't get it. i just don't.