Which mask do you wear? Are you happy that your child is contentedly playing a videogame and not under your feet? Or sad, because you self-flagellate about allowing videogames–how they limit your child’s creative and imaginative play.
No doubt you have read ubiquitous advice suggesting that videogames or social apps be turned off to allow a child’s natural curiosity and creativity to develop. Yet something holds you back.
Here’s one example of a parent who placed boundaries and limitations around screentime. It’s about a boundary that birthed a baker. In this post from Ron Dreher at The American Conservative, he wrote about the upside of restricting online access.
He himself was inspired by the inspiration of his daughter as she filled her free time with croissants, brioche, and a glimpse of the “possibility for her own future.” This post has the warmth of a parent’s love, not full of the rebuke so common to the topic.
If you are looking for other ideas to engage curiosity and creativity, curated lists may help you find useful learning resources for kids.
But back to socializing. If you are a stay-at-home parent (and a lot of us are during coronavirus), you may find your need to make social connections is assuaged vicariously through your child’s online playing. Satisfaction in hearing their sociable play could override your thoughts of creating downtime for your child to awaken to his creative impulses. Basically, our own need for relationships and social outlets may make us more comfortable hearing them in cooperative play, even virtual cooperative play, rather than quietly creating something (like building a robot or writing a story).
Make decisions about your kids’ socializing and gameplay recognizing not only their social needs, but how your own are affecting how you respond to theirs.
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