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A PS3? How about a Tonka Truck?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by PIMPTRESS, Jan 26, 2010.

  1. PIMPTRESS

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    I am interested in this subject, it seems to me that kids don't know how to entertain themselves anymore. There must be something flashing in front of them to hold their interest, they don't learn to exercise their imaginations the same as when I was a kid. I see lots of kids with little to no problem solving skills because they don't create their own entertainment, don't build forts, don't go outside and observe things. I've noticed many kids are afraid of the world, as they have been so engrossed in a screen for so long.

    While there are benefits to kids using technology from a young age, there should be a balance, in my opinion.
     
  2. Bob Trousers

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    I don't have kids of my own, but my last girlfriend did. Her little boy (5-7 years old in the time I knew him) had a PS2 and a DS. He also had a room full of Lego, Playmobil, Star Wars toys, Transformers, Ben 10 stuff, Power Rangers, Doctor Who figures, toy cars and fuck knows what else. This stuff was in such abundance he barely had any floor space (ok, his room was small but he still had a shit load of toys, and he loved them). All his friends were into the same stuff, so in my experience I'd say kids are still into their toys.

    He loved his computer games too, but the games he played seemed to be largely related to whatever toyline / cartoon series had him hooked at the time. It was only a year or so ago that he was heavily into Ben 10, and trying to find any of those toys that christmas was a fucking nightmare as everywhere had sold out, so I guess interest in toys isn't in that much of a decline.

    Of course, that's just my limited experience on the matter.
     
  3. Crown Royal

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    Kids are either less OR more active nowadays depending on the kid.

    When I was a kid, I was fairly active. I played Road Hockey or street football pretty much every day, was in organized sports, and was ALWAYS doing something outside until the sun went down. Nowadays, kids are either in all kids of sports and clubs (either by their own choice or by their stage parents forcing them) or they are slaves to these portable video game systems they ALL seem to have. Granted, I had the original GameBoy when I was a kid, but I reserved it to long car trips and at home in my room, and gave respect to people around me instead of playing it during dinner with your family or when people are trying to talk to you.

    We have this amazing Toy Store up by my house called the Toy Shoppe of Londonand it has official replicas of every cool thinking kid's toy ever made since the thirties, from original Radio Flyer red wagons to classic Lego sets to Easy Bake ovens to Capcella to the Play-Dough Barber Shop to Snoopy Snowcone machines to Spirographs. Everything. This place is awesome. This is where my daughter will get all her shit., but she's still very young and thinks dumping the rancid kitchen trash over her head is as fun as any toy right now.

    EDIT: Also, I notice there's no toy commercials on TV anymore. Not, at least, like when I was a kid and Tonka, MIlton Bradley, Hasbro and Fisher Price were clawing each other's eyes out with bright, nauseating commericals with guys shouting like deaf Town Squires with shit like IT'S THE MOST FUN YOU'LL EVER HAVE!!! KILL YOUR MOM AND STEAL THE MONEY FROM HER PURSE SO YOU CAN HAVE IT THIS INSTANT!!!!
     
  4. Dcc001

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    This is a really interesting topic, and it actually has far-reaching health and social consequences when you look at how children play and what level of activity they have when they are very young.

    Are toys becoming less interesting for children?
    Truthfully, I don’t know. I think that children will respond to their environment more so than anything else. Given that, when everybody’s parents buy them the latest video games the child is more likely to want the same thing for themselves. If everyone’s parents were still buying Tonka trucks, we’d see less interest in the gaming side of things.

    The only issue I have here is that games have been shown to be highly addictive. Starting children at a young age on them seems unwise, as they lack the understanding and critical thinking skills to resist the temptation of whatever addictive properties video games possess.

    What are kids using/doing instead for entertainment?
    There are quite a few studies running right now to answer this question, and to try and figure out what the long-term implications will be.

    When I was younger (old-timer warning), I can remember playing with my cousins for hours and hours outside. I can’t recall any specific toy that we used, just that we’d spend the day swimming or getting into stuff that we had no business messing around with.

    I don’t see this current generation doing that. I see them sitting in front of a screen, engaging only one part of their brain. This worries me greatly, because it suggests that:
    - The critical thinking skills learned as a child playing are not being developed
    - There is an increased level of sedentary living, which promotes obesity and is far more likely to hinder the child throughout their development into adulthood
    - It decreases the level of real social interaction that is critical for the development of children’s brains.

    These points do not bode well for the overall health of the child in the future.

    Is it right?
    I don’t think so.

    When I lived in Africa, I saw the exact opposite of what we have here. A common occurrence (and by ‘common', I mean once every hundred metres), was to see groups of 18 month olds to three year olds playing by the road, unsupervised. Once the child stopped breastfeeding, it was often handed to a 10- or 12-year-old to be raised.

    This would be horrific to most people in a western context, but what it showed me was that children are capable of SO MUCH. They can learn so quickly and be counted on to play safely and unsupervised (by an adult) from a very young age. Handling them with kid gloves (no pun intended), I think, stunts their growth when it comes to developing life skills and responsibility. Kids should have unsupervised play, but it should not be ‘play,’ meaning sitting down playing a video game.
     
  5. Slambrarian

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    My son is just about to turn 2 and we have already decided to hold off on video games for as long as humanly possible. He rarely watches TV and has a very lively imagination and plays outside as much as he can. Most of his toys are hand-me-downs from friends or family or old toys I had when I was younger, he has very few electronic toys.

    From what I have read & seen, many kids toys today are not helping to develop the imagination. There are toys from TV shows that when kids play with them they just imitate what they see on TV or they are so loaded with "REAL LIVE SOUNDS!" and electronics that kids don't actually have to do anything with them. Or they are getting battery operated scooters and bikes where they hardly have to expend any energy to use. No wonder so many kids have ADD & ADHD these days, they aren't working off their energy and basically becoming blobs in from of the tv/computer/video games.
     
  6. Beefy Phil

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    "Here's a spoon and a two-by-four. Go build yourself a waterproof shelter by sundown. It's going to be wet tonight."

    My 6-year-old will be the most awesome 6-year-old ever.
     
  7. PIMPTRESS

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    Agreed! I have been accused of being a "boring" parent, as I won't buy my kids these types of toys. I buy them cars and trucks they have to PUSH and make their own sound effects. I then turn off the television and let them make up their own worlds and stories.

    They do have a couple of Wii games. I moniter the time spent playing them and also won't help them through levels. I want them to learn to figure things out on their own, to learn to rely on themselves.
     
  8. Diablo

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    Gonna agree with most of you guys on this, I think kid's imaginations and activity have been ripped away by technology. I know when I was a kid, I used to be outside every day cooking up new things to do with my friends ranging from building tree forts, to street hockey, to laser tag, to snow fort building, to lego's. It was amazing to know that there was always something to do even during a rainy day. We had literally thousands of lego's we could play with, enough to fill a 55 gallon tub and then some, plus a bunch of k'nex and action figures, and hell Army men too. I was extremely grateful that my elementary school pushed us to keep active and gave us ideas of stuff to do even when not in school.

    Now look at what kids do for fun. They play Call of Duty. Their parents plop them in front of the TV and give them a bag of chips and go about their business. They have their hand held video games (and cell phones, I didn't have one of these until I was 18) every waking hour. Granted I don't live in the most kid friendly area, but when I do go places that kids are abundant, every single one has their head buried in a screen in their hands.

    Take road trips for example, when we were all kids, what was the likelihood that there was a TV in the car? 0%. Portable DVD players, tv's in cars, and portable video games changed all that. It gave parents a way to shut their kids up without doing anything, which I suppose is the dream, but c'mon! I used to play all kinda of board games, I spy, etc to pass the time on road trips...It developed my imagination and gave me an escape from reality.
     
  9. Gator

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    Just give them a couple years.

    Nature will introduce them to a whole new 'joystick' and they will be 'relying on themselves' so much for self-amusement, you'll have to take the bathroom door off its hinges.

    Young kids dont give a shit about completing levels. They just wanna run around and shoot shit in the face.

    Technology is not inherently bad for kids, its just makes excuse making easier. Every kid and every parent are different.
     
  10. jennitalia

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    I'm a nanny for an 8 year old and a 4 year old. Both of them have shitloads of toys that go untouched because all they want to do is play DS. The older one is known to throw tantrums when he can't play Wii and for his birthday, he got an iPod touch. What 8 year old needs an iPod touch?

    While I'm not opposed to a little bit of screen time each day, I try to limit it. Whenever I buy them presents, I buy them books or things we can build together that actually help them learn something.
     
  11. boo boo kitty fuck

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    Do I think that kids should be outside and play more? Of course, but it's not a black and white issue. When I was growing up you came back home when the street lights came on. You rode around the neighborhood on bikes or big wheels and ate lunch at whichever of your buddies houses was the closest. There were no cell phones, no checking in....no accountability at all.
    Did I love it? Absolutely!
    Would I have let my son do it when he was younger? Fuck no.

    The world isn't the same place anymore, no matter how much we would like to wish it is. You have kids kidnapped going to the bus stop, you have kids kidnapped from their backyard...and I haven't even touched upon the sexual predators and general freaks that are out there.
    So say I don't let my kid out.....then i'm a horrible parent for restricting his freedom to be a kid. Say I do let him out....then i'm a horrible parent for not keeping a better eye on him. I'm fucked either way so I will go ahead and be fucked and err on the side of caution.

    Did I screw up his life? Hell, if I didn't about this....then i'm sure I will have scarred him some other way.When he was younger was all about the action figures and making his own fun. He then started mixing it up with "learning" computer games, puzzles and board games. As he got older, he gravitated towards video games, t.v. and the internet. He now is writing spoofs that he and his buddies post on the internet (based mainly on video games.)
    So....he is doing something creative because video games sparked his imagination.
    I guess it could be worse.
     
  12. Drake

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    Boo boo... Check out this article...

    http://www.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,1940395-1,00.html

    In a nutshell, it makes the point that our fears of "bad thing" are pretty much unfounded. The same terrible things happened during our childhoods, they are just more widely broadcast now, which leads to parents having the same attitudes you espouse.

    On topic, my daughter would rather play outside then inside any day, and we sometimes have to restrain her from playing outside in the cold and/or rain much to her dismay.
     
  13. Dcc001

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    I assume that this is a belief held by many, particularly parents of young children. And I gotta say...I think it's 100% false. I remember reading several studies (can't find them quickly here at work, I'll see if I can locate them at home) showing that the world is safer than it was thirty years ago. The 'kidnapping' that occurs is almost always a parent or someone known closely to the child, or is a result of the child running away from home. Aside from academic studies, I have my own personal experience. All the travelling I've done has shown me that people are decent and the world is safe.

    This goes back to my original point that people assume many things about children nowadays:
    - they are incapable of making good choices
    - they will knowingly expose themselves to danger
    - they are incredibly fragile

    Not so. I'm not saying throw your kids on the side of the road and let 'em play, but if you live in a neighbourhood with other children and you teach your kids boundaries, they really should be fine.

    I blame the media for portraying our streets as dangerous mazes where pedophiles and kidnappers lurk around every corner. It just simply isn't the case. I believe if you don't give kids time on their own, to learn things for themselves and feel their world out a little bit you are not preparing them sufficiently for life as an adult.
     
  14. Riggins

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    When I was a kid, I had the original Nintendo but was only allowed to play for like 30 min a day. Then, I was told to go outside and "play." We lived on a cul-de-sac, and I had a limit to how far down the street I could go; basically, it was in the loop and not past my house. My friends and I would make up all kinds of interestingly stupid, yet amazingly fun, games and stay occupied for hours on end, until our parents would come yelling at us to come inside.

    Now, my ex-girlfriends younger brother couldn't be coaxed outside to save his life because he didn't want to get off the PS3 or Wii. The pool in her parents backyard stays empty because her younger brother just wants to play video games or be online. The street I live on has tons of families with their kids. It is an extremely safe neighborhood where everyone knows everyone, and there is no traffic on it besides those residents coming home or leaving. Yet, the streets are empty because all the kids -- aged newborn to high school -- are all inside. Rarely, I'll come home and see a couple kids in the street playing catch or some game they made up. It's sad.
     
  15. dan ruckus

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    Just to play devils advocate, even though I pretty much agree with everyone on here.

    Want to know why you don't see commercials for toys anymore? It's the same reason you don't see commercials for cereal anymore: You don't watch the channels that have them anymore. They still exist. You are the one that is different.

    I don't even really get how most of you even think that your assumptions are correct. What experiences does everyone share that they come up with these ideas that kids literally never go outside. I've got a 9 year old step-brother that has a bunch of new gaming consoles AND a million toys and legos (yeah kids still get them) that he finds time for. Plus he plays outside. That is literally my only sample set for determining what kids are doing these days. Are you just going by the every child is obese reports CNN does once a week?

    The times are different. When I graduated high school nobody had a cell phone. What the hell does a 13 year old need with a cell phone? Well when everyone else has one, then you need one too. One thing that will never change is that kids will always feel the need to fit in.

    If you had access to Guitar Hero and a war game with amazing graphics on a 46" flat screen tv, would you ever go outside either? Aren't you just being jealous that they have what you and your friends literally could not have back then?

    In theory shouldn't this all be cyclical? Most people complain about kids today so when they have kids they will raise them better and force them into your standards of a better childhood. I honestly don't see the majority of people our age (for sake lets say we each have teenagers within 15 years of now) stepping up to the plate to curb the problems you think kids today have.

    I'm just saying that I don't think you people have your fingers on the pulse of kids today nearly as much as you think you do. Again, I still agree with most of you and your assumptions are still fair, just thought I'd bring up some counter points that generally don't come up in these stupid threads.
     
  16. MooseKnuckle

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    I think Dan is on to something here. Whenever there is a "kids these days" conversation, it's laced with a sort of amnesia. The problem is that every generation feels the same way about the kids, and are fearful for the future of [society] because they don't have [value, ethic, moral, etc.] that previous generations had. I can just imagine what some grizzled old man said 40 years ago when he saw his grandchild playing with legos. "Kids these days and their stupid plastic blocks. They sit inside and build worthless shit out of those damn things. I've heard that some kids spend hours building entire fake plastic useless cities. When I was their age I was out with my dad learning how to build an actual barn. Something we could actually use. With wood and nails, the way it should be done."

    I'm not necessarily disagreeing with the common sentiment here, but I think that it's being blown out of proportion.
     
  17. The_Native

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    I am 14 years older than my brother. I did not have afather figure in my life. however my mom did an awesome job. Now I am in a position to be a father figure to my brother. i make him follow the same rules i had as a kid. no tv or video games during the week. We do his homework together, play road hockey together, play tag, and any other game we can come with. BUT when he is allowed tv and video games he has his favorites. Ben 10, chaotic, digimon and many others and he knows all about the cards. If we let him he would be obsessed with the cards and the action figures. he can play on the living room floor with these toys and cards but... he can also play online with them. toys are not taking a down fall in popularity they are just now part of the multi media world. toys are just as popular, just in a whole new whay. we did not have the option of trading baseball/hockey cards to a kid china. unlike the kids today
     
  18. oswald999

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    The toys kids have now don't force them to use their imaginations. They're all based on movies and video games and shit. Even Lego is guilty of this now, and it's depressing.
     
  19. Volo

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    You don't even need to be forty for that kind of thing to kick in. I'm all of twenty-four and I often find myself saying the same things, simply because I don't much care for a lot of the new technology that's being made available to kids so young. I simply don't want to be a part of all of it. The analog player living in the digital age. Problem is, that I'm finding myself hating on the youth of today simply because they act different and play different, which is fuckin' scary because I know in my heart I'm not a bigot. Truth is, I'm just jealous of them. They have all the fun shit that I didn't, and they still have access to what I did have too.

    Dan touched on a couple of very good points, one of them being the cellphone bit and "Well when everyone else has one, then you need one too" mentality. Look back a decade or two, and you'll see that it really hasn't changed. We're still keeping up with the Joneses, but with different trinkets and toys. Dan's right, kids just want to fit in. Remember getting picked on just because you didn't have a brand new pair of Nike sneakers? I do, and it didn't stop when I saved up and bought a pair, because that shit was already outdatedby then and they were onto the new fad. I followed along, because being branded a loser in middle school can drastically affect what you become in high school, and even affect your adult life. Looking back I know it was silly, but when you're a kid things aren't always so clear and concise. Hell, they aren't even clear and concise now.

    Personally, I say let them have their toys. While I will stand by my belief that giving kids expensive toys is fuckin' stupid because they're just going to break them in days/hours/minutes, these hi-tech gadgets can still teach them a thing or two. It's just that those things are a bit different than what we learned.
     
  20. Allord

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    I would just like to interject, and this goes for all of you and not just PIMPTRESS, the irony of such disdain and seeming lack of understanding being expressed for children staring at flashing screens by a group of people who are staring at the very same screens and yet not understanding.

    It's a bit like poker players sitting around playing poker and expressing the complete incomprehension they have for why so many people play poker.

    Also I'd just like to say that this whole "OH GOD THE WORLD IS GETTING WORSE, MORE DANGEROUS, AND DEADLIER WHILE THE CHILDREN GET SOFTER, STUPIDER, AND MORE RAPE-ABLE!!" perspective is nothing new, and is just a chicken little story of doom and gloom that is actually contrary to the truth.

    I agree with Dcc001 in that the world is most certainly becoming a safer place overall, and consistently. it's just "safer and less prone to death and destruction" doesn't get people to tune in for the 10 O'clock news.