I’m sure by now we’ve all seen articles about how bad television is for children. Some go as far as to suggest getting rid of the TV completely, while others say tube time should be limited to 30 minutes. But that is just ridiculous! It would take those poor children three days to watch any Disney movie. And by time you get to the last third of the movie, Bobby and Sue will have forgotten what happened at the beginning and so you’ll have to start all over. Will Sleeping Beauty ever wake up? Does Hiro avenge his brother? Will Po finally learn the power of Chi and save the pandas?! We may never know, but hey, at least we stuck to that 30-minute limit.
Even worse than the parenting sin of letting your child watch too much TV is letting them…du-du-dum…play video games! GASP!!! The thing is, yes, some video games are unsuitable for small children. Much in the way I’m sure you wouldn’t let your four-year-old watch Terminator (even though it is an awesome movie), Call of Duty should likewise be off limits. When we choose age-appropriate games they actually help our children.
My six and four-year-old play games like Sonic and Rayman together. I do limit the time they get to play, but I’m glad it’s an activity they like. I can hear the complaints flooding in now: They’re too young. They’ll get addicted. It’s melting their little brains! Au contraire!
4 reasons why I let them play:
- Playing games keeps their minds much more active than simply vegging out watching TV.
- It encourages their imaginations! The worlds and art in these games stimulate their minds, which encourages innovation and creativity.
- GO TEAM! Playing together inspires teamwork. When one falls behind, the other must go back and help. If there is a difficult part, they help each other.
- It builds problem solving skills. Not only must new levels be reached, but often the path that leads to the new level is full of puzzles and steps that have to be done just right.
These are my reasons, though there are many more. For some interesting research on the topic check out these TED links!