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Is this a double standard?

If I have a child that sits either outside or inside for hours and reads (not classic novels or a school reading list for summer, just for pleasure) and that's considered a good and prefectly acceptable way to spend time? Why do we not seem to consider that just as much couch potato activity as say watching TV, or playing video games?

I am just wondering because after reading that question about not having a TV or a Computer, I realized that I still wouldn't be getting any more work done than I am now. I was that child. I get so involved reading, that I cannot hear people talking to me sometimes. But as I am thinking about it, my 14 DS is playing a game online with friends and I am thinking he should go outside, but then at 14, I spent hours alone reading. And no one ever set limits on how long I could read. And I've never heard a teacher say a child shouldn't read more than x hours per day.


Asked by Lesli at 12:55 PM on Jun. 27, 2009 in Just for Fun

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This question is closed.
Answers (11)
  • I think more people accept reading because it promotes intelligence. Now there are good shows and games that do the same so you bring up a valid point. Parents today (and I myself am guilty of this) tend to see reading as something more productive.. but fail to monitor the content of the books thier children read.. a few years back my son was having nightmares and we thought it may be from some show he was seeing at a friends hous or a video game he was sneaking (we are pretty strict on what he watches and plays at home). It actually turns out he had been reading some book series that involved alot of killing, zombie, vampire type situations (keep in mind this was from the school library and he was about 8 or so) but it was real enough to him to cause bad dreams. Big wake up call to us. anyway sorry to ramble. I think it is good to monitor all areas and be sure to include exercise. Thanks for the question.. it will help many!!

    Answer by Tzutchka at 1:08 PM on Jun. 27, 2009

  • I don't want to get into the pro and cons of video games and tv, just wondering why books and reading are more acceptable.

    Answer by Lesli at 12:56 PM on Jun. 27, 2009

  • Reading helps vocabulary.
    Plus they have reading sections on tests so, reading outside of school can help strengthen memory.

    I loved to read and as a child and teen, if i wasnt outside playing, I was reading. Kept me out of trouble and on tests, if it involved reading.....i did great. I'm sure there are other reasons too.

    Answer by MommyLee08 at 1:01 PM on Jun. 27, 2009

  • maybe because reading stimulates the brain in different ways then watching TV does.

    Answer by VeronicaLee at 1:04 PM on Jun. 27, 2009

  • I don't think books like "Captain Underpants" are any better. But, real literature written with kids in mind is different. The difference is in whether the language enhances the child's vocabulary and introduces insights into human relationships, holds good character up to light, and gives the reader practice in visualizing situations. Some video games are also good, but they are awfully repetitious by virtue of going through the levels and achieving the next thing after doing the same actions over and over.
    Light hearted, superficial books (or games) don't need to be forbidden,but they should be stepping stones to better choices and not equated with other, more beneficial ones.

    Answer by callmeann at 1:06 PM on Jun. 27, 2009

  • I guess I am looking at from an activity level standpoint. I know there are great reasons to read, but it still for some kids is just as addictive as video games or TV. I read as kid to the exclusion of a lot of other activites. With all the focus of our kids being inactive and not outside playing and obese why isn't this listed as a factor?

    Answer by Lesli at 1:06 PM on Jun. 27, 2009

  • I dunno that's an interesting point. I wonder how ofter that comes p anymore though. I mean I am 28 and i remember the first year that Nintendo released it's game system that was affordable for almost anyone.At least an admit reader is spending their time expanding their vocabulary and imagination where as a game is so stationary predictable and most of them mindless. Also an admit reader is likely to do at lest some reading outside if fresh air is the issue. Even a game boy is not well played outside, you can't see the screen. Exercise is the main issue these days what with so many over weight kids. In the end though if the child is getting overweight because of prolonged reading and not enough moving about then they to need to have the books limited as they have for that particular child become just as bad as video games and tv in my opinion.

    Answer by But_Mommie at 1:07 PM on Jun. 27, 2009

  • My question, which is a lot like yours, is that no one ever says to a kid who is active every minute, that they should stop and read a book now and then. My kids were always either on the computer or reading. My boys did play baseball and soccer, and also took Karate, but since most people saw them doing the more academically based things most often, they were always saying that they needed to be more athletic. Not once have I ever seen anyone question whether an athletic kid reads enough.

    Answer by callmeann at 1:10 PM on Jun. 27, 2009

  • Reading opens the mind to other worlds, other ideas, and ways of communicating and expressing. Books help the imagination, intelligence, independence, introspection. Books teach us history, about people, both famous and not famous, about architecture, animals, science, art, gardening, cooking, fashion. There are so many books that we can be exposed to many many different ways of thinking and different thoughts. Books are a treasure chest. Video games are gems- they have their own benefits- coordination, reaction time, focusing, interacting, to some extent, with others. Take thousands, hundred of thousands, of video games, and I suspect you still wouldn't get the potential of benefits that you would from a library of books.

    Answer by Bmat at 1:11 PM on Jun. 27, 2009

  • Its a good question though about the obesity. I cant say i have a good answer because as a kid, i was always outside. Our street was FULL of kids in the same age range (we lucked out) so there was never no one to play with. It wasnt until we moved and i had to make new friends did i start to gain weight. I'm a shy person. But reading neve interfered with playing outside.

    I think the problem is that parents dont regulate time and let kids have their own tvs and game systems. I'm not against video games (i enjoy them myself from time to time), my dd and future children will not have a tv or game system in their rooms. They can have a tv in there room when they go to high school. But the only way they will have their own game systems is if they buy it themself.

    Answer by MommyLee08 at 1:14 PM on Jun. 27, 2009