Yesterday, my husband and I were visiting my mother-in-law. We go to see her every Sunday. This week she was baby sitting my nieces and nephew. The two girls are in their last childhood years, one turning 12 next month and one will be 14 at the end of the year. The boy, the youngest of the siblings is about 8.
While making pleasant Sunday lunch conversation, the question of what they were going to be for Halloween came up.
The eldest said she didn’t know. The middle child stated she was going to be either a ninja or a sock monkey, she hadn’t decided yet, and the boy proclaimed proudly he was going to be dressed as Mario. He then went on to explain to his poor old aunty he meant the character in his DS game.
It occurred to me, that many kids will be dressing in similar costumes, bought off the rack, tying into some game, movie or television show. When my kid was little all her costumes were home made. She was a princess, a pumpkin and a dalmatian. I’m sure there were others, but I don’t recall them at the moment. Now that she is nearly grown, she makes her own costumes. This year she plans on being a monarch butterfly.
I wonder if the ease of buying an off-the-rack, pre-fab costume is draining creativity from the newest generations of children. It takes very little thought or imagination to go to the corner K-Mart and pick a costume from the dozens on display. This is just a symptom of a wider trend, though.
I remember playing made up games when I was a child, hand-held video gaming wasn’t even a concept yet. My parents only allowed my brother and I to watch TV between 6 – 9 PM. Other than that it was either playing outside or reading a book. Or, as my mother threatened when ever we complained of boredom, she’d find us something to do. This usually entailed some form of housecleaning and was to be avoided at all costs. My brother and I spent many an hour concocting games and activities to while away the free hours after school and homework.
After our Sunday lunch, all 3 children pulled out their DSes and “played” a game “together.” One sat across the room from the other two. All three had their eyes glued to their screens. They sent each other messages through their games. Maybe I’m hopelessly outdated, but it seems to me there is no real interaction happening between these siblings wired into their programmed games. That concerns me.
What are your thought?
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