Children and Technology

Thank you!

Children and Technology

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Image: – Children and Technology – Macho Spouse

 

Max Winegar

If I asked a group of people that ranged in age if they would like to play a game of “PIG” or “HORSE” outside (and I had a basketball in my hand), how many would know what I was talking about? You might be surprised that some children might ask, “You want us to make pig or horse noises as we shoot hoops?” Some of you may laugh, but this was an honest question from some of the neighborhood children that come over to play with my kids.

Through my studies in education and working with students in classrooms, technology certainly brings a new perspective to learning. Students not only have the ability to research topics instantly through the use of the internet, but they can also talk to other students in different countries, take virtual field trips to museums that are in other cities, and write or edit papers quickly.


I will certainly be showing my age when writing this, but while I was in high school, the only thing that was anywhere close to a computer was a typewriter. If we edited our papers, we would end up writing on them and then retyping them to turn in. And, hopefully, there would be no mistakes or we would have to start all over!

Times have certainly changed! To me though, there is a drawdown. Instead of middle school students being challenged by a rubik cube, many now play games on Ipods, Ipads, Iphones, Kindles, Gameboys, or some other widget out there… There is nothing wrong with playing games for entertainment purposes, but parents should be aware of how much time their children use technology.

My wife and I are just as guilty as the next – our house is filled with electronic gadgets. But, we set limits on how much television they watch or how long they “play” on the computer.

I think children nowadays look at what we did as children, and think we had to have been bored out of our minds with the lack of technology. But, actually, remembering some of the games we used to play as a kid and teaching them to my children can make for an enjoyable afternoon.

Additionally, it is important for kids to use play time for “play time”. While my daughter was playing a game on a computer, another one of her friends knocked on the door and wanted to play. My daughter continued to play on the computer as her friend sat next to her and played on her Iphone. I watched as the two “played” together, each doing their own thing with their own device. Then, I began thinking, this is not right…I stopped them, and told the two to go and enjoy the outdoors. It was not long before a game of volleyball started. And, before long our entire family joined the game.

As a father, I would caution any parent out there to be mindful about how much technology your kids use on a daily basis. Being in front of the television all day or playing computer games might offer some educational benefits, but doing things as a family and teaching our children something useful through play will go a long way in the long run. Besides, I would certainly be delighted to hear my grandson or granddaughter ask me to play a game of “HORSE” someday.

About the author: Max Winegar is a male military spouse and stay at home dad to a nine year old girl and three year old boy. Max has been married to an Army officer for nearly 13 years and has recently started his own FaceBook page, "Freedom and Fatherhood."

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In 2015, Macho Spouse was approached by the Sonoran Desert Institute's School of Firearms Technology to hold the first ever “Male Military Spouse Appreciation Day” where SDI donated a full-tuition scholarship to their popular Gunsmithing certificate course. (Male military spouses are a large demographic for them.) USAA asked for our participation to help raise awareness on the importance of life insurance during “Life Insurance Awareness Month.” Yeah, I didn't know that month existed before this opportunity either, but USAA sure knows that we exist! And Marriott really knocked us off our feet when they offered several nights worth of hotel stays in return for a few reviews on their TownePlace Suites properties. TownePlace Suites made it very clear that they are interested in helping military families who are on the road, from PCSing to family vacations, TownePlace Suites wants our business!  And it's not like this is some shabby hotel chain guys, their rooms are usually very spacious, clean, come with fully equiped kitchens, and hot breakfasts.  I was surprised to learn how many were actuallyl located near military installations, which makes them a great temporary housing option, or vacation get-a-way. In full disclosure, I dispersed their generous offering quietly among those guys who have helped keep Macho Spouse up and running over the last few years. We don't make any money here, so when a top-notch organization such as Marriott offers us some swag, I like to spread it out amongst our volunteers first. If you want access to some of this cool stuff, contact me and be prepared to help build our community. But while I'm speaking of TownePlace Suites, you guys should check them out because they're really showing their appreciation and commitment to our military community! That goes for USAA and Sonoran Desert Institute as well, these organizations aren't just talking about supporting male military spouses, they're actually doing it. So let's not forget to return this generosity in 2016.

While I'm patting others on the back, I can't forget the amazing content NextGen Military Spouse, Military.com/SpouseBuzz, and Military Spouse delivered on behalf of male military spouses in 2015. When I started Macho Spouse in late 2011/early 2012, there was nearly nothing…nothing, written for or about us male military spouses. No blogs, no websites, no Facebook pages, no nothing. Now look at us, male spouses are popping up everywhere! (We've probably had absolutely nothing to do with this trend, but I will take full credit.) So despite terrorism, politics, war, and racial unrest, life hasn't been all bad this year. It's been good enough for me to crack a cold one, light a cigar, sit back and reflect on how far we've come and how many goals are still left to accomplish. Don't worry, I won't be consuming and driving while reflecting, Dana and I have already booked our New Year's Eve room at the San Antonio Riverwalk TownePlace Suites. Happy 2015 everyone, have a safe holiday season!



 

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