UK Children’s Advocate: Turn off the Games & Movies in Cars

August 3, 2010 -

The UK’s first Communication Champion for kids thinks that long car rides are the perfect chance for children to “double their vocabulary,” but that the proliferation of in-car entertainment devices like games and DVD players, if enacted during a trip, eliminate any chance for growth.

Jean Gross issued the warning, stating that kids from affluent families, who were more likely to be able to outfit their cars with the electronic devices in question, were more at risk.

Gross stated:

I remember [when my children were little] we did spotting games in the car, but with the Nintendo DS and other hand-held video games it's going to be more affluent parents whose children have problems learning to speak, not just those from poorer homes who have less exposure to a wide range of language.

For once we are inclined to agree: while portable entertainment offers parents the chance to drive nag-free for relatively long periods of time (worth its weight in gold at times), we always imagine a car full of kids zipping by the Grand Canyon (for instance), watching Shrek in the back of a Dodge Caravan and blissfully unaware of their surroundings.


Illustration by Kevin Spear


Comments

Re: UK Children’s Advocate: Turn off the Games & Movies ...

I never liked the cars/vans that had dvd players in them. I remember a trip I took with my friends, we read books, talked, played video games and looked at the scenery.

Re: UK Children’s Advocate: Turn off the Games & Movies ...

 It's a good suggestion and I take issue with people telling her to get her nose out of their parenting style.

There's a big gap between "We advise X" and "We want legislation to ban Y or to require X."

Suggestions are one thing, calling for bans and legislation is another.

 

Re: UK Children’s Advocate: Turn off the Games & Movies ...

This is a gray area for me:

Case A:  Kids do need to have time to relax and unwind.  Freetime is a valuable thing to anyone, and it's the choice of the parent how that child spends his/her freetime.

Case B:  There is such a thing as "too much of a good thing."  And whatever happened to listening to an iPod (or other means of listening to music) or taking a nap on a long trip?  If it gets to the point of going on a trip to see the sights and everyone's on the DS, that seems like a monumentally counter-intuitive waste to me.

I guess there needs to be a balance with this issue, but that balance needs to be decided by the parents on an individual case basis, not by experts who don't know anything about the lifestyle of those they are "trying to educate."  Not every moment needs to be about growth, especially at a time in one's life where one has the opportunity to be a kid.  The kid's never going to have that opportunity ever again after a certain point.  Let him/her enjoy it while it lasts, though enjoy it to a reasonable extent.

Re: UK Children’s Advocate: Turn off the Games & Movies ...

Wait.....

We are talking about a rare event here, long car trips where the whole family interacts.  Given that family trips have been on the decline over the last few decades, the probably of such an event even happing during early language aquasition is pretty low.  Add to this the probably that words will be used during that trip that are not otherwise used?   Ahm.... yeah.. this is a very silly piece.

This is esp strange to see in a UK piece given that 'long' trips in the UK are even rarer then they are in, say, the US.....

I am guessing someone is just trying to increase their exposure by attaching what they do to something popular like media when really there is minimal effect going on.

Re: UK Children’s Advocate: Turn off the Games & Movies ...

Clearly you spent too much time playing on a Game Boy on long trips in the past.

Probably => Probability.

Re: UK Children’s Advocate: Turn off the Games & Movies ...

Maybe I'm a freak but after the initial thrill of "WOO GAME BOY" wore off the outside zipping by was more exciting.  Then again it probably goes back to me being weird. 

Re: UK Children’s Advocate: Turn off the Games & Movies ...

You aren't the only one.

Re: UK Children’s Advocate: Turn off the Games & Movies ...

And she bases this on what, exactly?

Depends on the movie or the game, doesn't it?

I'll grant texting, though.  Friggin' kids, spelling "for" with a numeral...

Re: UK Children’s Advocate: Turn off the Games & Movies ...

A friendly message to this "advocate" and any other self-proclaimed authority on life: GET YOUR FUCKING NOSE OUT OF MY CAR HABITS AND PARENTING STYLE!  

Seriously. 

Re: UK Children’s Advocate: Turn off the Games & Movies ...

Yes, how dare anyone suggest that ignoring your kids by continually pacifying them with mass-produced entertainment could turn them into thoughtless sloths.  Clearly, this woman's message of "family interaction is important for vocabulary and conversation skills" makes her a demonspawn agent of the nanny state.

Really?  Is that all you got from this article?  Or are you just having a knee-jerk reaction because you only got past the "someone said games are bad" part and then jumped straight to the comments to register your holy frothing rage?

---
Fangamer

---
Fangamer

Re: UK Children’s Advocate: Turn off the Games & Movies ...

I don't think she's a "demonspawn agent of the nanny state", but I hardly think that replacing videogames with games of "I spy with my little eye" is going to turn a bad parent into a good one. In cases involving older kids it would be a step backwards.

I'm with the other guy - I want her to keep her nose out of my parenting style. If I want my kid to watch TV in the car or play videogames, that's my prerogative.

Full disclosure - we don't keep a TV in the car and my daughter very rarely plays videogames when we're travelling. But I reserve the right to entertain her however I freakin' well like, gorrammit! The car is not a classroom.

And whatever happened to the idea that kids should learn stuff (including broadening their vocabulary) at SCHOOL? Are teachers really so incredibly incompetent that the government is forced to shame parents into doing the teachers' job? My kid goes to frikking SCHOOL, for crying out loud, just like I did when I was her age. Schools, not cars, are places of learning.

Back in the 1960s no one ever told my parents that they should be teaching kids spelling or mathematics AT ALL, never mind in the bleeding car! If anyone had suggested it, they would have been a laughing stock. A car is not a safe environment for teaching - the driver needs to stay focused on the road, not on a math quiz!

Re: UK Children’s Advocate: Turn off the Games & Movies ...

And whatever happened to the idea that kids should learn stuff (including broadening their vocabulary) at SCHOOL?

So I guess your child never asked you what a certain word meant that they have seen somewhere because if they did your response would be "Does this look like school?!"

Also once the law requiring this study to be implemented is even considered then the fear that your style of parenting is being attacked will actually be justified.  :D

Re: UK Children’s Advocate: Turn off the Games & Movies ...

Granted learning even outside of school isn't a bad thing, but learning shouldn ever be forced.

Re: UK Children’s Advocate: Turn off the Games & Movies ...

If they're really so young that they're still learning their first language, they shouldn't be playing videogames anyway.

Re: UK Children’s Advocate: Turn off the Games & Movies ...

Sometime in the future:

"I'm bilingual; my first language was Videogames!"

Re: UK Children’s Advocate: Turn off the Games & Movies ...

In fairness, I see people who are still learning their first language in this comments section all the time.

 
Forgot your password?
Username :
Password :

Shout box

You're not permitted to post shouts.
Neo_DrKefkaI am a little disturbed that members of #GamerGate are supporting and not holding its same members accountable when they say remarks that are unacceptable!10/20/2014 - 11:39pm
Neo_DrKefkaSome #GamerGate people are defending @kingofpol many are however lashing out at him but if we held Sam Biddle accountable and Gawker so must we hold @kingofpol and #GamerGate10/20/2014 - 11:30pm
Neo_DrKefkaA big name in the Gamergate movement Kingofpol uses a offensive term about autistic people and in turn the entire GamerGate community lashes out at him. We do not need false leaders who think they can say anything https://twitter.com/Kingofpol10/20/2014 - 11:07pm
Papa MidnightMP, honestly, I'm struggling to make heads or tales of the events being outlined in that reddit thread. I've never heard of Siliconera before, either.10/20/2014 - 10:48pm
MaskedPixelantehttp://www.reddit.com/r/vita/comments/2jbn6u/former_siliconera_moderator_leaks_screenshots_of/ Siliconera mods accused of deleting user comments that were pro Vita.10/20/2014 - 9:23pm
quiknkoldhttp://www.diamondbackonline.com/opinion/article_3fbc52ec-57eb-11e4-ba91-0017a43b2370.html10/20/2014 - 9:16pm
Neo_DrKefkaId love to see people come 2gether whether your 4 or against gamergate to gather 2gether and support an anti bullying charity and I would love to see a pro and anti gamegate debate on a neutral platform that promotes discussion and solutions10/20/2014 - 8:33pm
Neo_DrKefkaWhen someone was seriously hurt by a violent altercation. They have a prospective that people who have not had this experience lack. Bullying is a serious issue10/20/2014 - 8:30pm
Papa MidnightStraw Man to the fullest, but it gets the point across.10/20/2014 - 8:26pm
Papa Midnighthttp://i.imgur.com/dw0YPon.png10/20/2014 - 8:25pm
quiknkoldby doing something, Charitable Donations is an example.10/20/2014 - 8:06pm
quiknkoldAndrew : I dont accept any worded apology unless I can look the person in the eye when they say it. For me, he'd either have to make a video so I could read his bodylanguage, or actually do something. actions speak louder than words.10/20/2014 - 8:04pm
quiknkoldwell if they are looking for social pollution, Twitter is a great breeding ground for it. Its a breeding ground for deviance.10/20/2014 - 8:03pm
Andrew Eisenquiknkold - He had three tweets worth of apology the following day.10/20/2014 - 8:00pm
quiknkoldyou know, people keep saying Biddle's comment was sarcasm, but the thing is, Sarcasm doesnt translate well in Tweets. I took his words as really hateful, and unless I see an honest apology, I'm not going to be happy with him.10/20/2014 - 7:38pm
Matthew WilsonI doubt it will change much.10/20/2014 - 7:21pm
MaskedPixelantehttp://www.bbc.com/news/technology-29689949 Google's current piracy fighting plan.10/20/2014 - 6:58pm
Andrew EisenYikes. http://boingboing.net/2014/10/20/vultures-circle-gamergate.html10/20/2014 - 6:25pm
Neo_DrKefkaDestructoid Editor in Chief stepping down after allegations surface about blacklisting will he be next? http://allmannerofnerdery.tumblr.com/post/100526443850/im-leaving-destructoid10/20/2014 - 6:05pm
james_fudgethere's some inside baseball stuff going on in this Andrew - likely some stuff we don't know10/20/2014 - 3:30pm
 

Be Heard - Contact Your Politician