Can't Trust Children With Devices
There are common beliefs that children can't be trusted with devices and have to be controlled by their parents. Parental controls work until the lights are out and the chemical cravings of the game force children to pull the device out at 1 am to play under their bedcovers. Control is not enough.
I was reassured that children could in fact take control of their devices when I had a visit from a former student visit the week before school started. He reported that he had not done any video games because of what I had told him and the video linked here that his mother showed him that literally scared him straight.
This is what he shared, "Ms. O. I did not do hardly any video game playing. I wanted to spend as much time as possible with my brother before he went to college. Even without playing, I don't feel like I spent enough. I'm glad I didn't waste time on games. Plus, my tutor thinks I matured since June. She told me I could sit still and concentrate so much better. I think it was because I wasn't playing video games. I only play simple ones for a few minutes when I get bored waiting for my mom or dad to take me somewhere."
I challenged him to take those moments of "boredom" and instead of playing a game, start asking himself questions about his new teacher, class, friends, the sky, or anything around him. I challenged him to wonder about things. He agreed.
Last week, I saw him walking to his class. With a huge smile, he gave me the thumbs up recognition that he could see the difference.
Being familiar with the strategies I have shared him my blog about impact of games on children's brains helps students like this one make informed decisions about how to manage technology.