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Stupid Kids

I don't believe there is such a thing as a stupid child.  I do, however, believe that there is such a thing as a stupid parent, and somewhere along the way they ruin their offspring's potential for greatness with their own selfish, lazy choices, resulting in another generation of stupid parents.

Obligatory Baby L pic - totally unrelated.
Don't make me elaborate - I claim the Thumper Rule here.  But I *will* point you to an editorial that my friend AFree shared with me, written for the blog "Something Awful."  Be warned: there is some profanity in the article "Your Idiot Kid Doesn't Need to Watch Movies All Day" but I can't say that I disagree with the author.  If your 3-year-old has the TV guide memorized for his/her favourite channels, that's a problem.  If your 8-year-old can recite lines to every Disney Pixar movie but can't think of 10 different ways to play with an empty cardboard box, that's a problem.  If your 14-year-old knows every "combination" and cheat code for the video game he/she is playing but has no idea how to get from your house to grandma's place, that's a problem too.

Of course, there is a place for technology in the 21st century and no, children shouldn't be living in some techno-free bubble; I think that any good learner will need to be familiar with, and have the skills to navigate, the plethora of gadgetry and information available to them.  Parents who are actively involved with their children in engaging technology as learning tools are to be lauded for helping their kids become critical thinkers and responsible users of all forms of media.

Irresponsible or excessive use of certain types of technology, however, only amounts to short-term gains for parents (e.g. an electronic babysitter), but has no lasting benefits for children and may very well do them a huge disservice in the end. 

On the heels of my post about not being judgmental, I'm already breaking my own rule.  I am judging.  And I feel justified in doing so because I don't believe for one second that a parent who is guilty of misusing technology thinks that they are doing their child a favour by playing the Lion King DVD for the hundredth time, or by letting their kid spend several hours a day on a portable game system.  Parents know better than that.  But as Forest Gump's momma always said, "Stupid is as stupid does."


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