Saturday, July 29, 2006

Conversation- its not just what's for dinner anymore

Driving home the other day, I noticed another car passing me in the next lane. Now, before you think I normally drive with my eyes shut, let me add that I was waiting to pull out into traffic and this car stopped right in front of me at a light.

In the back seat, I saw a little boy, about a year old, with headphones on. OK- that in itself looked odd. Then I noticed there were two more kids in the back with headphones on as well. They were maybe 3 and 7.

OK- so what does a 1 year old listen to on his iPod, I wondered. Then, as the car rolled forward, I noticed that there were two video monitors strapped to the seat backs. Ahhhhhh- Nemo was on. In that split second, I also noticed mom- who was alone in the front seat- was singing away to the radio (or going stark raving mad- who knows).

All the way home, it bothered me. There were no signs this was a long road trip, it appeared to just be a day out running errands.

I wondered, was it so much easier to just throw in a video and keep the kids quiet- rather than just talk to them? or let them talk amongst each other, color, read book (or at least look at the pictures) ? The town we live in isn't that big. In traffic, you can be from point A west to point B east in about 15 minutes- 20, tops.

Now, don't get me wrong- I buy into the whole video thing on road trips. If you leave our little city, the next city in any direction is at least an hour and a half away, or more.

But, I'm wondering what you think - have we become so emerged in the electronics age? or... is this just pure over-reaction?

I'm interested to see what you think ... feel free to leave a comment below.

5 Comments:

Blogger sarahgrace said...

I'm with you- I don't like having my kids watch movies in the car while I'm running errands...talking is so much better, and provides for some great teaching/learning experiences. On a long road trip, however, they're almost a must!

1:17 AM  
Blogger Heather said...

We have a tv in the car as well - They ARE NOT allowed to watch it on any drive under 45 minutes - we sing praise music (or Laurie Berkner as the case may be!), they have busy bags (really just the pockets of the front seats) with coloring books, crayons, picture books and happy meal toys (good use for those things!).

6:48 PM  
Blogger Eagles Wings said...

No it's not pure over-reaction...
We have become so emerged in the electronics age...And we are not teaching our kids to interact with others...Then we wonder why our public schools are so bad with the kids....
Okay sorry just a soap box to get on today...
But I do agree for a long trip it is a MUST!!!! after just coming off of vacation without one...never again :-) I'm investing in one (I hope)

9:29 AM  
Blogger Clemntine said...

We actually use the video system in town. I control when it does and does not get turned on. I will offer videos for a long afternoon of running errands around town. Here, for what they may or may not be worth, are my reasons:

1. I abhorred errands as a kid. I like that my kids don't hate our one errand day every two weeks.

2. I enjoy the time to catch up on news, Christian talk radio and worship music.

3. Our family does not own a television.

Our car video system serves us, not the other way around. I am grateful to have it, and try to use it wisely.

9:28 PM  
Blogger Sheri said...

Eh, it doesn't bug me. I guess I just tend to think I don't know what the family dynamics are and I don't know why that particular family might need that stimulation. (Speaking as a parent of an autistic child, I can tell you I have done some pretty out there things to help him get through tough times, which I am sure others viewed as irresponsible or uncaring or just plain weird.) Anyway, having Gavin has taught me a lot about not placing judgement on others (NOT that you are doing that! LOL! just something I used to do)

That said, we only use ours on long trips. But they did serve us well at those times.

9:25 AM  

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