Thursday, December 1, 2016

These Old Walkin' Shoes: Teach Your Children

The Age of Electronics has ruined my kids. I’m no Luddite, but sometimes the instant access of nearly everything has changed the way kids see the world today. It has completely changed the way they watch TV, and the way they play some games. Sometimes, it really drives me crazy.

We have Netflix and Amazon at the house. They account for probably 90% of all the TV that gets watched. We don’t have cable or satellite. It makes no sense for us to pay $75 a month for TV that we barely watch. We do have a desktop antenna in order to watch the locals when we want to, but most of the time it’s Netflix or Amazon. And that’s where the problems begin. Don’t get me wrong. I love being able to watch my favorite shows anytime I want.

Whenever we’re watching a show or movie, one of the girls will ask me to pause the movie whenever they need to use the bathroom. It’s usually no big deal. However, on those rare occasions when we’re watching TV off the antenna, they ask the same thing. They haven’t quite figured out commercial breaks, and they don’t understand that you can’t pause TV as it’s happening. Sometimes they want to watch new episodes of “The Big Bang Theory.” I have to explain to them that the new shows air at specific times, and that we have to wait until then.

The whole idea of “Pause” extends beyond the realm of television and movies. I’m not sure if it’s amusing or annoying when they’re playing a game in the yard and they yell out, “Pause! Pause the game! Pause the game!” What the heck does that mean? Pause the game? Whatever happened to “Time Out?” When I was a kid, it was normal to hear those cries of “Time Out.”

I totally blame the iPad, iPod, and Netflix culture. I tell you, it’s ruining kids these days. Could you imagine trying to pause a football game or a basketball game? And it’s not just my kids. I hear other kids yell the same thing while playing neighborhood games. This cannot stand.

It’s time that we as parents tackle this problem head-on. We can’t continue with all these pauses. The epidemic must end. Continual pausing will lessen the impact of those awesome games like Freeze Tag and Musical Chairs. These games were too important to our own youth to be cast away so blithely.

Yes. I blame Netflix. Who else can be blamed? We can’t blame ourselves. Or can we? Let’s think about this for a minute. In the era of modern parenting, what do we do when one of our kids acts out? We put them in a “Time Out.” We also threaten to send them to a “Time Out” when they first start acting unruly. So, I guess they’ve avoided using the term in games because they don’t want to be reminded of that Bad Place.

In all honesty, I find it humorous that the kids yell out “pause” rather that “time out.” Times keep changing. The world is changing faster and faster, and our youth is changing with it. As we get older, it seems that it becomes more and more difficult to keep up. That’s probably why we keep complaining about everything as we get older. We want it to perpetually be 1989. Well, except maybe for the ozone-depleting hairdos.

Craig Bacon thinks we should bring back “The Breakfast Club,” if only for Molly Ringwald. Wendy says he might need a ‘Time Out.’