Mostly musing here....
I did go to school. So yes, in some way circumstances did force me to put down the book. I am not sure that was a good thing, though, for me personally
It was not a good thing because I probably would have been better off at home reading sloppy romances than at school. This is not a pro USing or anti schooling statement - simply my reality. I was bored, lonely, bullied, etc at school and for the most part it was a negative experience. I did learn some stuff at school I might have had a hard time learning at home, but undoubtably I would have learned some stuff at home i did not learn at school.
Now had school been a good place for me but I was struggling with a book addiction, it might have given me a framework in which books were placed in a more normal priority.
This is where USing enters the picture. In our home I try to ensure there are enough outside the home activities (inside can work too but only if the child is quite devoted tot he idea) that we lead a rich life. For the most part I make them optional and fun. I am usually taken up on the offer. My older children have started to take on things they are either highly committed to or the team is counting on them. They are learning how to get their butts off the chair and out the door - but they are doing it with things they have chosen.
Lastly, I have been trying to think of what my goals are in relationship to my children. For the most part, they are not academic. My goal for my children is that they learn now to be happy. That does not mean that every moment if life is filled with happiness - it means that in general they learn what makes them happy and see that they have the power to attain happiness. With that in mind, I do not insist they get off the computer, because:
a) it seems to make them happy in the now. That has value
b) If I want them to learn how to create happiness for themselves, then I have to let them experiment with how to make that happen. Including gaming. I really do not think anything is more important than them learning how to live their life, and how the pieces of their lives fit together.
I can see 3 routes with screens:
1. They stay a hobby.
2. they evolve into a passion of sort
3. They become an issue with the person doing too much gaming - as they realise they are somewhat addicted.
I would support my child no matter which of the above was happening for them. In general I would be more likely to intervene with a young child who was experiencing number 3 than an older one. With an older child I would talk and role model and suggest - but not necessarily ban or limit screens. At some point their lives are their own - even their addictions.
I have more (and I also feel this is badly worded!) but I have to run.....
Edited by purslaine - 4/4/11 at 8:21am