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Amy Patterson – “My Thoughts”

Posted on Tuesday, July 9, 2013 at 11:51 am

You’ll never hear (see?) me say this again, because I’m a tough-cookie and people think I’m cool (I have a reputation to uphold): I am a huge book-nerd, and I think you should be, too.

Here’s my thought process on that one…

When I see little kids, be it a boy or girl, crying and whining to their parents because they want the new Call of Duty XBox game, I cry a little inside. I’m not going to say that I never played video games as a kid – Mario is an ace, but the general obsession of the games by anyone under the age of, say, 16, is ridiculous.

I’m not blaming it on the kids, either. Shoot, they’re a generation that jumps for joy over anything that blares music and has bright, flashing colors, or anything that allows you to virtually murder a video game character; you know, either or.

Today, kids are over-stimulated and over-medicated. Since when does a hyper kid get 50 mg of Ritalin instead of a soccer ball?

Yes, I understand there are many exceptions to the rule, and some children have ailments or conditions that don’t allow them to function “normally” without medication. Obviously, that’s not what I’m referring to here.

Children don’t have respect for, well, really anyone. If I’ve heard one kid cuss (and I don’t mean a slip of the “dang-it” word, either), I’ve heard a thousand. If I’ve heard horror stories from my teacher friends about detrimental kids, I’ve heard a thousand.

Guess what? This problem does not start with the kids themselves. Innocent, bright eyed, perfect babies are not born with a desire to stare at an LED HD TV screen and blow the heads off video game people. They’re born with a desire to love and be loved. This problem starts with you. You! The kids parents, their aunts, uncles, neighbors, and friends.

I may be quick to judge (surprise!), but I can promise you that my niece and nephews, cousins, and other children whose lives I’ve touched on don’t thrive on a Ritalin-induced stumor that allows them to stay up until 3 a.m. watching Sponge Bob reruns.

Maybe, instead of looking for an immediate solution through the amber plastic of a pill bottle, you should be looking at a mirror instead.

When your daughter asks for BioShock, hand her Jane Austen. Sense and Sensibility a bit too much? Try Rainbow Fish; it has glittery pages. Reading is quiet, *usually* nonviolent, and calming. Today, that sounds like a pretty good solution to a lot of our problems. Oh, one more thing: your kid can’t read? Yes they can. Make them. Help them. Practice spelling words in the car. See? Easy-peasy.