I dislike computer games, pointless cartoons and expensive “must-have” toys. I dont shield my son completely from these things, but I do think they should be monitored and limited.
See, I dont think that moving an imaginary charcter around a screen is the best thing to do with your time, I think there are far more important or useful things. I think its nice that he quite enjoys watching Ben 10 and gets interested in the story and can chat about it with his friends every now and then, but I also think its important that he doesnt spend too much time with his face glued to a screen, oblivious of the real world around him.
I think its nice that he sees a great toy in a shop and asks for it for his birthday, but to be bombarded at such a young age with adverts and media persuading him to want something because of its brand or the fact that it has a catchy jingle on the advert is not a good thing at all. J tells me often that he would love to have a Bop It XT, but I doubt he even knows what it does. I was browsing a toy shop a few days ago, looking for christmas present ideas and spotted a little girl dragging her poor mother towards a Bop It, saying, and I kid you not, “But pleeease, can I just touch it?” I dont think thats at all healthy behaviour.
I dont believe in giving my son every new toy out there, or upgrading something just because the new one has come out. He knows that he cant have everything he sees or everything his friends have. Its good for him to know that not everything in life is going to be placed in front of him as he wishes. Its excessive.
Now, we arent exactly well off in our household and money for the latest this and that just isnt there. Maybe its made my views on this stronger, but even if we could afford to buy everything for him, I wouldnt, because I would much rather teach him a simpler way to live, one in which material things arent that high on the priority list. Children should be gathering round for board games, climbing trees and exploring the world around them, not wasting away the first years of their lives in front of various screens or lusting after the latest and new fangled.
I dont want him to grow up thinking that to be happy or content in life, he has to have everything he wants, or the newest and best out there. Maybe it has something to do with growing up in a house with no television, four children all close in age and not a lot of money. These are my opinions. They may change a little over time and I know that the older my son gets, the more he is going to want these things and therefore Im probably going to give in a little, but never to excess. Its better to appreciate what you do have.
I would love to hear your views on this, please do comment with your own opinions.