MizzB is a mom to a 10 year-old, a working teacher, and a produced playwright. She teaches in a high poverty elementary in LA, where she tries to keep creatively and technologically afloat in the murky waters of educational bureaucracy and high-stakes testing.
There’s no avoiding it. Chances are, if you have a kid older than 5, they’re going to want to be on the computer. And they’re going to want to play games. Often, rather violent games. Boys, especially.
I tried keeping guns out of the house for years, but every time I’d turn around, my child would be turning a garden hose or a stick into a gun or a sword or a lightsaber.
“Are you playing ‘bao-bao’ (guns) with that upside-down hobbyhorse,” I’d ask my sweet little 4 year-old. “Oh no, Mommy,” came the innocent reply. “I was playing fireman. See? Water. Pshhhhhh!”
It was a battle, and I was losing, and I didn’t even believe in fighting in the first place!
By the time he was seven, I gave up. He was allowed to play video games online for 30 minutes a day. But then that became a different battle—practically a legal one.
“If I play 45 minutes today and tomorrow, then on Saturday when we’re going camping, I won’t be playing at all, so I can add the half hour to Tuesday and Wednesday and it’ll be fine.”
My son was trading in video game futures!
Eventually I discovered a site called Aniboom which lets kids build their own animations frame by frame using basic shapes and palettes they can modify. They can loop the animations to create videos, post them for public viewing, see how many hits they get, etc.
I figured there was no way I was winning this battle, so why not change the terms? As long as he’s making something rather than destroying something, it’s a good thing, right?
Visit MizzB’s new blog, The Wild Things Are, or e-mail her at askmizzb at gmail dot com.
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Original post by Tech Savvy Mama