Is Giving Your Kid A Phone Really That Awful?

Is Giving Your Kid A Phone Really That Awful?

You can’t bring a kid into to an ever increasing technological society and deprive them of technology.

I was listening to the radio the other night – yes radios stations still exist – and the host was discussing the topic of giving your children access to tablets, phones, computers, etc. He opened up this question to his viewers and I was expecting at least a few people to say it was okay; instead, every single parent that called in spoke as if the internet was a gateway drug.

Listen, you have never felt true bliss until you hand your kid a tablet, sit them on the couch next to you, and switch the television over from Nick Jr to something a little more “adult”. Like a hockey game so you can watch your team lose for the fourth time in a week, but that’s a much angrier article for another week.

Do you know how long it’s been since I got to watch something on television – before midnight – that wasn’t asking me to do math or which shapes fit in which hole?

Too damn long.

I mean I get it. Parents want their kids to socialize and be active and contribute to society or whatever. And that’s great, really. Kids need to interact with other kids and they need to stay active; I’m not protesting against those ideas. I’m just saying that it’s possible for your kids to have it all.

When Dylan, my daughter, starts elementary school I expect her to be working with technology immediately. It’s the world we live in. Your kids are without a doubt going to interact with the internet at school. So, if they’ve never played with a tablet before they’re going to be behind before they even make it through the door.

You can’t bring a kid into to an ever-increasing technological society and deprive them of technology. Dylan spends a lot of time on my phone. I use this time to clean, complete coursework, or just breathe for three seconds, because children take a lot out of you.

This doesn’t mean she’s always on my phone; she’d much rather go outside than stare at a screen for an hour. Like last night when she stared longingly out into the night and asked: “mama can we go see the moon”? And I had to tell her “no Dylan it’s ridiculously cold outside and your allergies are terrible.”

She has a good balance of being familiar with technology but understanding other things are more important – unless her father’s calling and she’s watching Elmo, then her priorities get a little muddled.

And Dylan’s like a baby genius with the phone. She knows where YouTube is, knows how to pause and play videos, and how to clear my notifications off the screen. She’s basically an Apple maestro. I don’t mind it, because she sees how much time her father and I dedicate to our phones and so playing with one seems like the norm.

Her father and I could police how much time each of us is spending on our phones but seeing as how I’ve got friends hours away from me, a mother who loves to tag me on Facebook posts, and I just enjoy being connected; I don’t see that happening.

So Dylan’s going to have a tablet, but she’s also going to play outside, and she’s also going to shove Peppa Pig and Doc McStuffins figurines in my face and make me play pretend for an hour. She’s a cultured kid. As long as it doesn’t become too much I really don’t see the harm in letting my daughter have her ‘internet’ time. It keeps us both happy.

Cover Image Credit: Jelleke Vanooteghem

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Some Thoughts On Snow In Farmville

Remember, you can't spell "Snow" without "NO."

I'm starting to wonder if the first day back at Longwood is cursed. Remember, you can't spell "Snow" without "NO."

Granted, we've only had significant snow on the first day of Spring semester and the first day after Spring break, but that's a heck of a coincidence.

I have noticed, however, that when there is inclement weather, it tends to elicit (at least what I would consider) strange reactions in Farmville.

Allow me to break down the process of a snow day (or snow scare!) in Farmville:

1. There are weather reports of a possible snowstorm that Farmville would be in the wake of.

2. It blows up on social media, students clamor for a snow day.

3. The snow starts.

4. The school has to make a choice about whether to close or not.

5. Students react.

It kind of baffled me earlier this semester and this past Monday when everyone was shouting for a snow day before it actually snowed. I lived in New Jersey for eight years, where, like the rest of the north, you wait for the snow to come before panicking.

The idea of calling a snow day before it actually snows (or at least before some incredibly ominous clouds roll in) is extremely strange to me. Second, it was really weird that people wanted a snow day for the first day of school and for the first day back after break.

What are you afraid of, syllabus day? Beyond that, you paid a lot of money for classes, don't you want to get your dollars' worth?

I actually think Longwood handled the cancelation of the first two days of this semester really well: there were reports of snow, snow started coming in the night before, they canceled school. As it snowed all day, the next day was canceled as well. I think that given the several inches of snow we got, in a rural town in the south, it was the correct call.

However, I disagree with how this past Monday was handled. It snowed pretty steadily for most the day, and the ground (including pavement) was eventually covered. School officially closed at 4PM, but I honestly think that's a bit of a moot point.

Yes, there are still classes that run after that (I had one that was canceled), but if you had to come to campus, you already did. I'm not a commuter, but I don't think there was enough consideration given to commuters coming (and leaving) campus with the weather. Specifically, I mean commuters who live a significant distance away (as opposed to those on High Street two seconds from campus), who had to drive on barely plowed roads.

The other issue I have with late closing (as opposed to a full day off) in regards to snow is that our campus is simply not equipped to handle snow (or ice, for that matter).

Waiting for the FAB by the library? There's no heating or cover. Walking on the sidewalk? Hope you don't slip (we don't need to salt the sidewalk most of the time so we don't). Hanging out outside? There's no covered seating. It goes on, but the reality is that our campus is not equipped to snow because, generally speaking, we don't need to be.

That's why when it does, I think that in most cases, we don't have a realistic option of holding classes.

I'm not sure what the solution is, or if there is a better one, but I think that recent experiences with snow can help guide better choices for the future.

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

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15 'VeggieTales' Songs You Definitely Never Forgot

Brb, off to make my Spotify playlist of all these jams!

When I was little, VeggieTales and the songs that come from it were my jam. My sisters and I owned several CDs of Larry’s Silly Songs, and we knew them all by heart. Recently, I’ve had conversations with a few friends about favorite VeggieTales songs. To remind everyone of those favorite VeggieTales songs from long ago, here are 15 you definitely never forgot!

1. "The Hairbrush Song"

This song was constantly sung in my house growing up. I mean, with a houseful of girls, it’s not surprising that we were constantly looking for or talking about hair brushes. Fortunately, none of us had to come to the same sad realization as Larry.

2. "The Water Buffalo Song"

Don’t you know, everyone has a water buffalo? With the little props and the interrupted song, this one is classic Larry and his Silly Songs.

3. "I Love My Lips"

Not going to lie, this song gets stuck in my head more times than I would like to admit. Larry jumping around, exclaiming how much he loves his lips, is iconic. Honestly, I want to be as passionate about something as Larry is about his lips.

4. "Promised Land"

I love that the promised land centers around food. To be fair, my promised land would also center around food.

5. "His Cheeseburger"

Every college student can relate to this song since it’s literally just a song all about food. I would sing songs to and about my favorite food any day.

6. "Endangered Love (Barbara Manatee)

Once again, Larry is me; I am Larry. Singing about your favorite soap opera character? I’m so down.

7. "Good Morning, George"

This song is another classic in my house. It was especially relevant in the morning since I’m not a morning person and my dad is. He would wake me up by sing-yelling down the hall, “Good morning, George, how are you?” Needless to say, I was never “feeling fine.”

8. "Oh Santa"

VeggieTales has everything covered, and Christmas is no exception! An ode to Santa where everyone except the IRS person is let in? Sounds like my type of song (also no, I don’t just let robbers into my house, don’t worry).

9. "Song of the Cebu"

The slide projector in this video is my favorite. When was the last time you saw one of those? Not to mention Larry’s picture narration is amazing. He sounds like every person just getting back from an amazing vacation.

10. "Oh No! What We Gonna Do?"

Yikes, Daniel better look out. Also, bad guys singing songs and dancing? Reminds me of West Side Story.

11. "God is Bigger Than the Boogie Man"

Frankenstein sings along with Bob, Larry, and Junior in this song, and if that doesn’t appeal to you then I don’t know what will! Plus, everyone is just so happy in this one.

12. "Dance of the Cucumber"

Dramatic Larry and interpreting Bob, what a killer combo. Plus Larry casually insulting Bob and getting him to translate it is pure genius.

13. "The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything"

Every lazy person’s dream is to be one of these pirates. Also, I’m thinking about making Larry’s list of things he’s never done a new bucket list. Thoughts?

14. "Stuffmart Rap"

I know this isn’t real rap, but it’s the closest I get to listening to rap music. I’ll take two of everything, please!

15. "Keep Walking"

I love that the pea guards think they’re so scary. I mean, they’re peas!

Brb, off to make my Spotify playlist of all these jams!

Cover Image Credit: flickr

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