In Others' WordsIn Others' Words

Friday, October 30, 2009

Such is the life of a 21st century child






Katie Beth and Amy, my two oldest daughters are astounded by their little sister's life.
They came home tonight to find her e-mailing her buddy, Justin, via our Wii!
Did they stand amazed and say, "Wow! Technology these days!"
Nope.
It was more like, "Are you kidding me?!"
They couldn't exactly go the "you-didn't-let-us-e-mail-our-friends-when-we-were-that-age" route, because ... well, e-mail wasn't around when they were eight years old.
I think they equated her e-mailing Justin to them calling a boy on the phone--and, in our house, that is a definite no-no.
But e-mailing Justin using our Wii Internet connection had some extra layers to it that calling boys on the phone doesn't have. For one, I was talking to Justin's mom while Christa and Justin were instigating the flurry of e-mails. I was Christa's human spell-checker for her messages. Christa wanted me in on the jokes she was sending her buddy. I read each and every e-mail sent and received.
Christa and Justin were disappointed that their attempt to play a Wii game together online failed. Katie Beth and Amy once again ignored the technological marvel and wondered why I was even allowing Christa such freedom.
Why, indeed?
Well, because this her time to be eight, not their time. And, with appropriate parental involvement, this is harmless. The Wii has parental controls. Christa knows she is only on Wii Internet if I'm there with her. She knows about online "stranger danger"--we had a frank talk again today. When my first three kiddos were growing up, I only had to warn them about the bad guys lurking in cars or stores. Now I have to warn Christa about the World Wide Web.
For the most part, Christa is being raised like her siblings were raised. But she's being raised in a very different world--and there have to be adjustments made for that reality.

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