May 15, 2008
No Techno Vaca
Jerry says he doesn't need a "techno vaca" now that he's rediscovered his creativity. But if we were doing the "techno vaca," JJ pointed out that it would be better to look at what he enjoys doing, rather than focus on what he's leaving out. Good advice! Jerry was feeling down mainly because his interests have been very focused lately (on video games) but it seems all that's required to make him feel better--and he's already started doing this on his own--is to revisit his other interests. In the last couple days he's gotten out his legos again (they're covering every inch of the playroom floor!), he's started making a movie on the computer, he's been painting his Munnies, he's rediscovered Line Rider (an old favorite) and he's spent far less time in front of the television. And he did it all on his own!
I think we're beginning to reap the rewards of allowing him to make his own choices in regards to screen time. It's been a challenge. For my husband and I, that is. Going from the anti-technology Waldorf philosophy we'd adopted over the five years Jerry was in school to the radical unschooling philosophy of unlimited screen time was a pretty big jump--kind of like jumping off a cliff, blind-folded, with our hands tied behind our backs and trusting that Jerry would remember to put the trampoline at the bottom. It's taken a lot of trust and a lot of going against our previously held notions about television, computers and video games and what role they should play in our child's life and the life of our family.
Even though Jerry has been loving his freedom, I'm beginning to see that it was a challenge for him as well. I think that's where the sadness came from the other day. But now that he's coming out of the all screen-time all the time mode (it helps, I think, that we're home again) and remembering that he has other interests, he may not be as glued to the screen as he has been these past few months (more than a few, actually!). Of course, now that I've typed this and will be sending it out to the world he's pretty much guaranteed to spend the next 72 hours with his eyes glued to the TV. Oh well. C'est la vie!
But I do think I can finally see the light at the end of the video game playing/computer using/television watching tunnel. And I see a blue sky. And birds flying. And a rainbow! And what's that? Oh. It's a computer. And a Wii remote. And, oh, there's a PlayStation over there. But there are birds and the sky is blue. And I know I saw a rainbow.