Thursday, November 20, 2008

It's Good to Share

A few weeks ago I mentioned allowing Miss Olivia to get her own email account. It seemed like a good idea at the time, she corresponded and resolved an issue with her 4th grade teacher and sends weekly updates to her grandparents in California. The downside of her new email habit is she expects access to my laptop on a daily basis. It’s driving me crazy!

After picking the kids up from school, we head home, jump right into homework, fixing and eating dinner, then cleaning up the kitchen and at about 7:30pm, I’m finally seeing the light at the end of my tunnel of the day and all I want to do is get on the computer and do a little blogging. But, no… now I’ve got to share the computer with Olivia so she can check her email and Yannick’s not to be left out, so he wants to hop on and play a few games on All of this must be accommodated before their bedtime at 8:30pm.

I knew this day would come, just not so soon. The kids have a desktop PC in the playroom, but we’ve never wired it for the internet, and to do so, would require us to add a phone line to the room.

Loverman and I are extremely cautious when it comes to the kids to extending their digital footprint. We’re also pretty strict when it comes to allowing them to play video games. They each have handheld Leapsters, but that’s only because Leapster only offers educational games. I have been lobbying Loverman to loosen up a bit because both are jonesing for Nintendo ds or at least a Game Boy, yet I’m completely on the same page with Loverman in my concern that these handheld video games often distract children to the point where it stunts their social/emotional growth and they become less social and able to engage folks in meaningful conversation. Let’s not even get into the content of some of the video games. It’s ridiculous. I do suspect we’ll be just as vigilant with the amount of time the kids spend playing with these things as we are with monitoring the amount of time and what they’re watching on television.

But, back to my limited access to my laptop… I really do want them to be completely computer literate, but ever since I invested in this swanky Mac laptop, I’ve viewed it as “mine,” and the kids’ insistent interest in getting their grubby and often sticky fingers on “my” toy, is really challenging Mango Mama when it comes to the concept of sharing.

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