Monday, December 08, 2008

What My Parents Did Right

In my family, we had a rule that the only TV that was allowed was 'educational'. So we watched lots of nature documentaries, history shows, and (my personal favorite as a young child - which perhaps explains my affinity for geography) Where in the World is Carmen San Diego? PBS was the majority of our TV watching back in those days. I'm also pretty sure we had a limit to how much we could watch, especially in the summer, and we had to finish our homework before we were allowed to watch anything.

Those rules sort of fell by the wayside by the time I was in high school, but by that time I preferred those sorts of shows, for the most part. I think I picked up one or two junk shows, and all the rest of my TV watching continued to be semi-educational.

The same applied to computer games. I don't think my sister or I ever owned a computer game that didn't teach math or geography, or some other skill, until perhaps high school. I still remember my sister and I sitting at the computer playing Outnumbered together. I did all the quick mental math, because I was older, and she helped with the word problems. I also played Carmen San Diego and Mickey's Space Adventure (I can still tell you random facts about the planets thanks to this game).

We spent a lot of time in imaginative play, because our mom wouldn't spend the money on all the toys my friends had. Mom would give us book reports to complete over the summer months, and she took us to science museums and historical sites. It wasn't uncommon to play Bible memory games when we were on long trips, or to be given challenging math problems to solve over dinner. We practically lived at the library.

I used to resent all these things when I was little, because I never was up on the shows or games that all my friends watched, and we never got to anywhere or do anything 'fun'. Now, however, I think my parents probably did the right thing. My sister and I are thinkers - perhaps not deep thinkers, but more so than many kids our age. We have an appreciation for science and history that many of my friends never got.

My parents weren't perfect, but they did a lot of things right. This is just one example, but it's a good one. Thanks Mom and Dad. :-)

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  • Alan

    So glad you noticed ;-)

    Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to improve on what the previous generation did.

  • Sherry

    Thanks! I'm glad we did some things right.