The politicization of my kids

I never meant for homeschooling to be a political decision. I never even thought about education reform when my kids were young. I had an autistic son with forty hours a week of state-funded therapy and I had a newborn with a facial disorder that would require three surgeries. I had no time for education reform.

Also, the silver lining of having special needs kids is that you have no patience for the minor complaints of overly blessed parents: “My kids won’t eat broccoli!” “My daughter is so shy!” “My son won’t sit still!” These were worries that seemed absurd to me given the issues I was dealing with.

But then, when my parenting life calmed down, I realized that school was a waste of time and I did a little bit of research—it probably took me only a month—to see that education reform is heavily biased towards self-directed learning. Which means homeschooling, not classroom schooling.

So I took my kids out of school. I was not being political so much as following the research. The data was so clear that school is a babysitting service and kids do things like tests and curricula to keep them orderly rather than stimulated. I took my kids out of school because I thought I’d feel guilty trying to justify why I didn’t take them out when the research was so obviously in favor of taking them out.

I thought about how I ask my mom over and over again, “Why did you marry dad if you didn’t love him?”

And she says to me, “It was different then. Women got married as a way to have a house and be taken care of. No one thought it was that bad.”

But I know that’s not true. She was college educated in 1965. She didn’t have to marry someone to save her. She was just scared, so she made a terrible decision and then told herself that she had to do it that way.

That’s what I imagined I would do with my kids. They would say, “Why did you put us in school? Why didn’t you want to have us at home?”

And I’d say, “The time was different. Everyone was putting their kids in school then. People didn’t think it was that bad.”

And my kids wouldn’t trust me. They’d know I knew school was no place for learning.

So I took my kids out of school.

But then it got political.

People ask what my kids do all day. My kids say they play a lot of video games.

People ask, “How much?”

My kids say, “All day.”

I used to say, flat out, that my kids manage their own screentime. I said it to relatives, friends, the pediatrician. And the reprobation I’d get really impacted my kids. The people implied, in front of my kids, that it was destroying my kids. And my kids could infer what they meant, and my kids started getting worried.

So other peoples’ reactions to our family choices force me to be political. They force me to tell people that the social construct of school is useless and they should not be worrying about my kids and their development. I tell them psychologists have proven that video games are good for kids, and maybe they should let their own kids play more.

When people lash out at me by implying that my kids are being ruined, I don’t feel the need to get them to agree with me, or get them to feel bad about their own choices. But I do feel the need to rescue my kids from the negative, ignorant, and judgmental responses people give to unlimited screen time.

In history, the true revolutionaries are not the people who want to make the world a better place. That is such a privileged, non-risk-taking point of view. The revolutionaries are the ones who had to go against the status quo to survive. They did not see any choice except to challenge ruling social and political assumptions of the day.

I never set out to be a revolutionary, but every time a stranger brings up screentime with my kids, the beat of my revolutionary drum gets a little bit louder.



41 replies
  1. Lyndap
    Lyndap says:

    Great article. I’ m struggling with letting my middle son homeschool…mostly for selfish reasons. He wants to homeschool…he just isn’t stimulated enough in school, he says. He’s already telling people he’s going to homeschool for high school. Your writings are helping to edge me towards that non-traditional route.

  2. Shari DeVoogd
    Shari DeVoogd says:

    I may not always agree with you but I absolutely LOVE that you make me think. You were the wake up call I needed as I found myself slowly slipping down the slope of schooling again because I was afraid. Fear sucks. It makes you do all sorts of stupid things. I am back on the path of self-directed education at home not schooling. Thanks for the kick in the pants! LOL

  3. Karen
    Karen says:

    I am such a coward about this. When people ask me about homeschooling I pretend that we are doing school at home with curriculum. I’m afraid of the response that I will get if I tell the truth about exactly what we do all day which is pretty much music practice, books and lots of video games. I’m about as non-confrontational as it is possible to be and I don’t want people to think badly of me so I lie. I’ve never told my kids to lie about it but no one really asks them specifically how they spend their time beyond the fact that they don’t go to school. I get the questions about the details of it. And then my kids see me lie about it which is not good so I really should stop doing it. I guess I’ll have to make it my New Year’s resolution to stop lying about homeschooling.

    • Kay
      Kay says:

      I agree with you, I don’t know why every time someone asks me about homeschooling, my social anxiety kicks in and I keep mentioning that stupid online public school thing. We’ve been so trained to believe that learning is unnatural, that we’re afraid to show the obvious.

      Kids don’t need a curriculum to learn or be successful. It all shows on paper but when faced with the status quo in the form of an interested mom, it can get overwhelming to explain what people have been doing with their kids for centuries, up to 200 years ago.

      I love what Penelope wrote at the end, the best revolutionaries didn’t so much as spend time trying to force everyone to believe what they were doing but instead realized that they had to challenge the status quo themselves.

  4. Jennifer
    Jennifer says:

    When I see that picture, it looks exactly like me and my husband relaxing, just with cell phones or tablets. It never ceases to amaze me that all of these adults questioning you are likely the same ones that spend the vast majority of their own time with electronics of some kind. Why are we expecting our kids to do something that we can’t, and don’t want, to do ourselves?

    • Isabelle
      Isabelle says:

      Yes, yes, yes!!

      I think 98% of the parents who fret endlessly about screen time are the parents who are themselves addicted to screens. If it is really important to you that your kids don’t use screens in their leisure time, stop using them yourself. Now, how important is it, really?

      Whenever I think about something I “want” my son to do as he grows, it always comes back around to “gee, I better start doing that thing myself!” (music practice, being outside, exercising, learning another language, putting down the iPhone, etc. etc. etc.) If he sees me doing it, that will be one of the best ways to get him interested. If he still isn’t interested, maybe it’s not for him.

  5. Liz Ness
    Liz Ness says:

    Seriously resonating with your post this morning.

    After having learned (and I had a lot to learn) over the past 1.5 years how to trust in the self-directed learning needs/direction of my son (and how to support it), I’ve recently found myself in “campaign” mode, sharing how self-direction is a crucial component to learning–which is often followed with an explanation for why spending so much time on the computer is essential to my son’s “education.”

    Here’s the thing though: We started from a place of the “known” (more of a school at home approach). Then, we adjusted, settling into a self-directed mode that’s largely “unknown” (e.g., unschooling) within a short amount of time. This makes it hard to convince others that we’re not simply “drinking the punch” I think. Which is all right for me, but I can’t help but have that same “mamma bear” reaction you’re describing when it comes to judgements given to my son, directly. But, then, that’s how it was when he was in school, too. I can’t begin to tell you how often he was judged–away from anyone that might provide support or advocate for him.

    As a result, I think we all (my husband, son, and I) recognize that part of our journey includes self-advocacy–which is an important skill in a free society anyway. So, it’s not all bad. But, I’m not going to kid you, I wish it were different–especially, since I’m naturally introverted and would rather swim with the current than against it. And, I guess that’s one of the interesting things about being a parent–it gives you all sorts of courage for things you’d rather not do.

    So, I say to you, “YOU GO MAMMA BEAR!!!”

  6. karelys
    karelys says:

    This part makes me really mad. That people will feel the need to say something so awful that it clearly damages the kids.


    I love this post. It reminds me when my dad would have no qualms telling it like it is to make sure we heard him. To make sure that it was ok to push back.

  7. mh
    mh says:

    I agree.

    We’re unschoolers, and I do sort of cringe when Grandma calls at 1:30 in the afternoon and talks to the kids and they inform her:
    1) breakfast was at 10:00am.
    2) they are still in pajamas
    3) all they have done so far today was play with hot glue and popsicle sticks, or LEGO, or fool around figuring out some song on the piano, or read comic books.
    4) no plans to do math today. They’re going to get dressed and go out to play basketball.

    Because we definitely have those days. Lots of them in December, in fact.

    But things go in stages.

    For example, one of my sons got intensely interested in bridge construction. He checked out piles of books on the technical aspects of bridges, including foundations/footings and load capacity, and he watched online videos of how to strengthen different construction styles, and he built bridges. For months. And he tested them and broke them and rebuilt them and had contests over how much they could carry, and he learned ways to measure things like material strength. The child was in 5th grade. So a lot of what looked like “goofing off all day” was him learning something he cared about a LOT. You don’t need to get out of your pajamas to read a physics book, or to build a series of arches linking the bathroom sink to the tub, then running a canal over them. All you need is a LOT of unstructured time, and no one interrupting you to say, “Now we will write a five-paragraph expository essay about photosynthesis.” Also, you need to live with people who are busy with their own pursuits and don’t mind stepping around your experiments, even if they block the path to the toilet.

    That’s the homeschool dynamic at work. Sure, play video games. Your brain is supercharged with stuff you are interested in.

    My little one has turned an interest in natural disasters into a full understanding of weather phenomena and geography. He can tell you all about geologic plate boundaries and ocean currents and the gulf stream. It’s great. It doesn’t bother me that he wants to look up weather maps online, read articles and see photos of weather disasters, and watch videos from hurricanes or what have you. He reads a ton about geology and rescue missions and rebuilding efforts and disasters. He’s a subject matter expert; it’s great.

    Now, how do you “grade” that, in a typical school day paradigm?

    But we don’t get to lazy days in our pajamas right away; there are plenty of days when they are doing things that “look” more obviously like learning.

    It’s just hard to explain when Grandma calls.

    I’ve stopped trying to cover for our learning styles, and now I keep it short-and-sweet: We do what works for us.

    Homeschool is freedom.

    • YesMyKidsAreSocialized
      YesMyKidsAreSocialized says:

      Good post! This is what happens with self-directed passion-based learning. Then when they are older 13+ is when we transition to teaching good work habits, grit, perseverance etc. People always ask, but how will they learn to do the unfun parts of a job if all they do is do what is fun all the time? I say under 13 let the kids be kids and discover their passions, then 13+ is where they develop that passion and learn grit and perseverance through part time work or internships etc. this isn’t something kids can do while in school going from classroom to classroom. Our kids will get to develop that passion into a viable skill or product, not just in the after school hours.

  8. Katie
    Katie says:

    I use the same reasoning, except mine reads the opposite ‘why didn’t you let us go to ‘regular’ school, why did you homeschool us’? I’m afraid to homeschool my kids,again, after being in private school for fear they will resent that I pulled them out of traditional school…….even though I agree with your statements/studies/ research regarding traditional school models being largely ineffective.

  9. Heather Sanders
    Heather Sanders says:

    I love that photo and this is why–it reflects the world at large. Sure, those are your boys playing video games, but it looks the same as when I entered Starbucks today. It looks the same as when I walked down the aisle of Target to get toilet paper (one kid gaming in the cart while his mother was talking to her husband about who was picking up their other kid after practice). It looks the same as me standing in line and texting my daughter to see if there was anything else I was missing on the grocery list. It looks the same as our family in the orthodontist’s waiting room (4 people with phones, 3DS, etc…).

    It looks a lot like the world we live in.

    Good for them for getting ahead of the game, right?

  10. Nicole
    Nicole says:

    It’s hard for people to believe that screen time isn’t bad for children because the media has been telling us the exact opposite of that every single day ever since TV’s were invented. Not a day goes by where there isn’t some news story about how TV, Video Games, ipads, and cell phones are responsible for everything that’s wrong with society.

    In fact, just today I read something on the Huff Post about how kids who watch more than 2 hours of TV per day are more likely to have ADHD and do bad in school. Really, 98% of Americans were born and raised in households with a TV and turned out just fine, but we’re still not convinced that watching TV is safe? This makes absolutely no sense. But, even though I know this makes absolutely no sense I still feel like a bad mom for letting my son watch TV all day….I feel even worse after I find out that he’s been playing minecraft for 36 hours straight.

    Anyway, my point is –It’s really hard to not worry about having no restrictions on video games when all day every day the media tells us that video games make kids shoot up schools, do drugs, and become violent criminals. When the risk of being wrong about something is greater than the risk of being ignorant, it’s reasonable to error on the side of ignorance- especially when it involves kids. So, try and have some empathy for these judgmental people… but not so much that you start to feel bad about telling them that they are wrong. You need to keep doing that. :-)

    • mh
      mh says:

      For the media, the biggest risk is that people will start to realize that “everything is a crisis” is a bunch of baloney.

      We canceled the cableTV about 5 years ago and we haven’t missed it one little bit. No commercials. No commericals. No commercials. No concerned newscasters, no wall-to-wall coverage of a school shooting or a thunderstorm, no breathless predictions of rising seas or cataclysmic political events. No commercials. No commercials.

      I highly recommend it.

        • mh
          mh says:

          No tv at all.

          We do bring movies/tv seasons home from the library. During the presidential election season in 2012, we live-streamed a debate over the internet, and we did the same thing with that redbull freefall guy from the outer atmosphere, one Sunday morning.

          When we go on vacation and stay in a hotel or with cousins, my kids tend to binge on TV consumption. I’m fine with that.

        • renaem
          renaem says:

          My family streams Netflix, (no cable, no network TV) and I love it, primarily because there are no commercials. We also have to be active consumers, so we can’t turn the TV to PBS kids and let it run all day. We do miss out on the NFL coverage, which I don’t mind, but my husband would really, really like to have, so we might find another option just for football.

      • Heather
        Heather says:

        We did this for 8 years. The kids were young, we were trying to keep expenses low so I could stay home with them, and it didn’t fit into our budget. Plus, it would give me great relief not to have to EVER watch Barney again.

        What we noticed was that we all still liked to watch shows, so the kids watched their VHS tapes (dating myself here) over and over until I wanted to gouge my eyes out. We spent a lot of money at Blockbuster and time returning the “scratched” tapes at the library.

        We read a lot, yes.
        We played games, we talked, we drew and wrote, and spent time outside, but when they wanted to sit down and be lulled by a program, that was ALL they wanted (and by “all” I’m including me).

        So, maybe we’re screen time junkies–I don’t know. I like our screen time–we always seem to have it together. And believe it or not, my older two kids often watch whatever we’re watching with phones in hand to tweet things from the show or to interact with their friends.

      • Heather Sanders
        Heather Sanders says:

        OH! But we hate watching shows live b/c we like to FF through commercials, and we ceased watching news because I agree with you–always a feeding frenzy on the most recent “crisis”.

  11. Rachel J
    Rachel J says:

    I think I copy almost every comment from mh into my “homeschool inspiration” journal. Just fyi, I think you should pay her, PT!

    And, I am wondering if you meant to link to that “pyschologists have proven video games are good for kids” article? This is the end:

    After reading the article and the press release, I can imagine a spate of news stories will emerge in the days ahead reporting that “pyschologists have proven that games are good for you.”

    Most of the studies reviewed in the article don’t prove anything. They show simple correlations or associations. For instance, it’s great that people who play video games report that they are better at solving problems, but that doesn’t prove that video games actually make people better problem solvers. If video game players are more creative, it could be because creative people like video games The authors of the study are very clear about these nuances in each study they report on. In many ways, a truer title might have been something unweildly like “Potential Benefits of Playing Video Games That Are Worth Exploring Further.”

    That said, there are a handful of studies, especially around first-person shooters, that do seem to prove that specific kinds of video games train spacial thinking in useful, transferable ways, so strictly speaking, it is true to say that pyschologists have proven that video games are good for you. In this one very specific way. For one specific type of gaming practice.

    Of course, proving that they are good for you doesn’t mean that they aren’t also bad for you. There are still plenty of studies that link game playing to anti-social behaviors and other problems. I love video games, and I’m excited that researchers are increasingly focused on their potential benefits, but potential benefits need to be weighed against the outstanding concerns about the wide variety of violent, sexist, and other problematic content in games, and how these media affect developing minds.
    The Benefits of Video Games is a great contribution to the literature on games and learning and games and mental health. But if you read in the news or in your Twitter feed that this one study has settled the debate and proven games are good for you, then I’d recommend taking the time to read the article itself.

  12. Jody Lutter
    Jody Lutter says:

    On not being political:
    This post reminds me of a presentation I attended as an undergrad in the mid 1990s of a “lesbian writer.” I don’t recall her name now, but she was perplexed when people asked her political questions. Her response was along the lines of: I’m a writer and I happen to also be a lesbian. It’s not a political statement. I’m just living my life and some of my female characters come home to female significant others while others have male significant others. People ask me how I feel about the draft, as if I should have an opinion as a Political Lesbian Writer, but I don’t have an opinion because I’m from Canada. We don’t have a draft and being lesbian does not mean that I have an interest in all things political. I’m just writing and living my life.

  13. YesMyKidsAreSocialized
    YesMyKidsAreSocialized says:

    What I think is happening is that older generations have a hard time understanding video games. The reason they had such limited screen time in their day was because there was no tv or video games!! Then these older generations hold on to and pass down the view that screen time should be limited to two hours a day or your kids will be screwed up for life!!! This is a false dilemma. Another fallacy is saying minecraft is a waste of time but educational apps are great!

    I also hate when I explain homeschooling to friends and they say “I’m so glad it’s working for you guys but I can’t do it”…when did I become super mom?…. I didn’t and I’m not! I just follow the research same as you. I think most of us came to homeschool the same way…. I usually say something like “I used to be so close-minded about homeschooling and stereotyped everyone, I’m so glad I decided to have an open-mind about it”. Because who wants to be seen as close minded right? That usually gets people thinking…lol.

    • mh
      mh says:

      Hey, that’s a good one. “I used to be…”

      I think you’re right about older generations.

      You know, we got to talking with a WWII veteran one day about his life growing up, and what led up to him being a pilot in the war. And he was just kind of joshing with my kids about his “normal” childhood. He was a farm kid, and while his mother did chores around the farm, she (wait for it)…

      … tied him to the porch.

      Which is considered child abuse in 2013, of course. And rightly so.

      But he, and 11 milllion American kids raised just like him, went on to defeat tyranny across two oceans.

      So maybe homeschoolers aren’t perfect parents, but please. Show me some perfect parents. Because half the people I know are in therapy over what their parents did while they were growing up. And 99.99% of those people went to traditional school. How can homeschool be worse?

      • Heather Sanders
        Heather Sanders says:

        I am CRACKING UP–he was TIED TO THE PORCH? I know I probably shouldn’t be laughing. I mean, that is something we would not do to a dog in this day, but I’m remembering when my husband and I moved to our first tiny little A-frame home years ago. We had one child and my sole responsibility, other than her, was to get the front yard mowed.

        We were out in the middle of nowhere. There was an acre in front of our home and I had a push mower.

        She was 18 months old at the time. I would put her on a large queen size quilt between me and the house, place a bunch of toys on it, and mow back and forth until I reached her. Then, I’d move her again–closer to the house–and start over.

        I remember THINKING it’d be soooooo much easier if I could just tie her to the porch.

        • mh
          mh says:

          I know, right? That’s what he told us — she tied him to the porch.

          Imagine that mom’s life on a farm — having to hang laundry out to dry and pump water and pluck chickens and raise vegetables and cook 3 or 4 farm meals a day… and have a toddler! And the diapers, oh.

          I am so blessed — dishwasher and washer and dryer and vacuum cleaners right inside the house. And electricity. It wasn’t that long ago that working moms meant WORKING moms and coffee was a luxury.

    • Drifting
      Drifting says:

      Or it could be that some of us did grow up with unrestricted screen time, have played games extensively, and realize that Penelope is wrong on this. I think if she’d be honest, the real reason unrestricted screentime is attractive is because it tranquilizes the kids enough for her to get her work done or to suffer through what sounds like a lot of driving.

      The problem though is that games really do have negative effects if not restricted. Most of the articles about their benefits are bunk, and I knew this even when I loved games. Parents are going to read her, think that Junior is going to become a computer programmer because he’s in the basement playing Xbox so much, and be stunned when they find out they now have an antisocial, irritable kid who has no desire to ever leave it.

      • mh
        mh says:

        Drifting, I’m someone who played a lot of D&D … remember Dungeons and Dragons? Many a person looked askance at us. I also played Risk (and Speed Euchre) as I got older. Most of my friends tended to be engineer types, and these games were great for us. They let us work on being things we were not yet, and they relieved social pressure.

        OK, there are still people lost in unreality who used to play those games, but most people were just like me — they could gain new ideas and relate better with other people through a game than in oh-so-awkward real life.

        It was like a secret source of confidence.

  14. K Mommy
    K Mommy says:

    So true!

    If naysayers are truly worried about screen time throw the question back a them and watch them sweat. Ask what the title of the last video game they bought or allowed to be downloaded, the genre, what the plot was? Same goes for T.V. shows, If they say none but have a smart phone they’re just bitter liars, can’t remember or snaps shows how little they pay attention to their kids life. No way would they remember on average how long their kids screen time anyway.

    I let Bunny play video games I picked after reading reviews and watching uploaded actual game play clips. It makes a difference vs just commercials. When she does play it’s 30 min limit then break time. Eyes get rest and she play with something else or eat her meals before jumping back on. It’s never happened where she wanted to continue after the break yet. When it comes to T.V. time I got rid of cable because it’s full of useless channels and mostly commercials. I leave on HULU Plus I pick the show and let it run in the background. She isn’t a couch potato type so she doesn’t stew in front of the T.V. longer than a episode. if there’s a dance scene on, she stops to dance then goes back to playing. The commercials had a monkey see monkey need to buy to see if it’s true effect. She’s 5 after few months of withdrawal fits, I can now easily take her pass a toy section without Bunny begging for junk. If she does get something it’s items she really likes, add-on’s to current toys. I also don’t waste money clothes for her to fit in with kids she only saw at school. I hated sending her off in a cute dress or shirt just for it to get marked up or ripped playing.

  15. Anonymous
    Anonymous says:

    Wish you wouldn’t post shirtless pics of your kids… I know you’re proud of them, but I feel like they are too young to give consent. There are a lot of creeps out there that would get turned on by it. I know you like sharing all sorts of photos and details of your life, but please leave your kids out of it. They have the right to grow up and make their own decisions about what kind of online presence they want to have (if at all) that isn’t connected to you.

  16. Sam
    Sam says:

    This comment doesn’t have that much to do with your post in general, but it does have to do with the idea that unlimited video games are fine for kids (or people in general). My boyfriend played a lot of video games as a kid/teen and continues to do so (he is now 27). At one point he determined he suffered from a video game addiction and cut himself off completely for over a year. Now he plays most days of the week, about a couple of hours a day, a bit more on weekends. He would definitely play more if he didn’t work so much.

    It is actually really freakin annoying. One out of every five conversations we have is about something video-game related (how he got a new sword in the game, how he did this new challenge, etc.) I don’t play video games and frankly I don’t give a shit about him getting a new sword in a video game. He knows this but is so excited he tells me about it anyway. I listen because that’s the compassionate thing to do. He has actually admitted that playing video games is an escape from real life while he is playing. While I understand that, it’s upsetting to see how addictive it is and how it crowds out interest in other activities (and people).

    I know most people who play video games do not have an addiction to them, but as someone who is living with one of these “gamers”- it kind of sucks. What I wouldn’t give to one day hang out together on the couch and read (without video game music in the background)!

  17. Jennifa
    Jennifa says:

    Everything is trade-offs. PT doesn’t have a TV, they have a lot of access to outdoors, they meet people, practice music, blog, travel. Most kids don’t have any of those things. If you’re watching hours of TV, never play outside, only talk to your immediate family, have no musical hobbies or otherwise, don’t know how or why to use a computer, and have never travelled outside your zip code, then yeah, playing video games all day is not going to help their situation. People want simple rules, “video games bad!”, “brushing teeth good!”. It’s not that simple.

    • YesMyKidsAreSocialized
      YesMyKidsAreSocialized says:

      Exactly. I think sometimes people forget or don’t read P’s other posts about all the awesome non-screen time activities her kids do. But she shouldn’t have to explain herself and most unschoolers are very protective of unfettered screen time. I am one of those people. But, I have tv, computer games, video games, iPad apps, and they do get unlimited screen time but that doesn’t mean they do that all day every day, we are still involved in many things that don’t include video games. It’s just another tool to learn. In fact they have gone a week without playing video games and two days without tv, because they want to do other things. It turns out that they aren’t zombies afterall!

  18. sarah
    sarah says:

    I have 4 “normal” kids, and one autistic son. Before my autistic son, #4 in the line up, I would argue with you about electronics. I could see my kids having pent up energy from sitting in front of the TV, a lack of imagination, and they fought much more. But when my autistic son came, suddenly Tv, and video games CALMED him down. He could focus. He could learn. He has unlimited electronics because of this. I just find this an interesting contrast.

  19. Lisa
    Lisa says:

    I really struggle with the “screen time” situation. My kids are very young and I try to keep it minimal and immediately feel guilty if I perceive they have too much. Meanwhile I am addicted to my iPhone and a group of SAHM friends on FB. :/ This post and the comments, give me more food for thought. As does my husband, a big tech junkie.

    That all being said, I do wonder about the opportunity cost of our children having more screen time than previous generations. What exactly are they NOT doing when engaged with a screen? Yes there can be positives to screen time. But what are they not learning, exploring, experiencing or discovering because they have more of this time in their lives? More working with their hands? More using all 5 senses? More outdoor play and exploration? I firmly believe in the value of these things but I do not know what the balance looks like. We live in a mostly treeless area in the suburbs. Not exactly the type of area I just want to send my kids out to play and explore in. It’s boring.

    Regardless… I haven’t answered this question for myself and our family. I don’t know if/when that will happen. It’s good to keep thinking on it though. (I think?)

  20. Lauren
    Lauren says:

    From the article linked:

    “Most of the studies reviewed in the article don’t prove anything. They show simple correlations or associations. For instance, it’s great that people who play video games report that they are better at solving problems, but that doesn’t prove that video games actually make people better problem solvers. If video game players are more creative, it could be because creative people like video games The authors of the study are very clear about these nuances in each study they report on. In many ways, a truer title might have been something unweildly like ‘Potential Benefits of Playing Video Games That Are Worth Exploring Further.’
    Of course, proving that they are good for you doesn’t mean that they aren’t also bad for you. There are still plenty of studies that link game playing to anti-social behaviors and other problems. I love video games, and I’m excited that researchers are increasingly focused on their potential benefits, but potential benefits need to be weighed against the outstanding concerns about the wide variety of violent, sexist, and other problematic content in games, and how these media affect developing minds.”

    • AP
      AP says:

      I’m glad someone else clicked through and read the article! It certainly didn’t prove video games are good for you.

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