adventures in unschooling

Gameboy Fear

One of the things that led us to trying to force Cassius to ride a bike is what I will call Gameboy Fear. This fear is that your child will become horribly addicted, loose all interest in life, and grow up to be a bum. I have this fear. When Cassius, after getting a Gameboy for Christmas, suddenly seemed to loose interest in everything else, it gave me a scare. I decided that Cassius had to become active!

Bike riding takes much more effort than playing Gameboy. You actually feel it when you fall. It is much easier to turn on a screen than go out into the cold. So when we had such a miserable experience riding bikes – I blamed the Gameboy. Perhaps it was a little to blame, but really he just didn’t want to do it.

I see that he is actually gaining skills by playing on his Gameboy. He loves it. He is so excited when he wins, and tells me all about it. He really works at it and tries again and again until he succeeds. When his dad was having trouble with one of his games, Cassius said, “You just have to keep trying and it’ll get easier”. I’ve been saying that to him for years! Also it really feeds his love of fantasy and story. It is making him feel that he can do it and that he is good at something. I’m hoping he will take these feelings of confidence into the rest of his learning.

Everyone around Cassius spends a lot of time on computers; why would he behave any differently. Computers are very addictive. Almost everyone I know says the computer takes up way too much of their time. So while I can see that Cassius is actually getting more out of his Gameboy than I know, I feel I have an obligation to help him limit its use. One the best ways of doing this is to get off the computer myself! Which I’m going to do really. Just one more minute.

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