A Shrewdness of Apes

An Okie teacher banished to the Midwest. "Education is not the filling a bucket but the lighting of a fire."-- William Butler Yeats

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Head-slapping moment #378

Once again I feel a head-shaking failure to understand:
One American parent in every five believes kids in the home are spending too much time on the Internet, though most parents say the online activities haven't affected grades either way.

In a study to be released today by the University of Southern California, 21 percent of adult Internet users with children believe the kids are online too long, compared with 11 percent who thought so in 2000.

Still, the proportion is less than the 49 percent who complain that their kids watch too much TV.

About 80 percent of the children say the Internet is important for schoolwork, although three-quarters of the parents say grades haven't gone up or down since they got Internet access.

Forty-seven percent of the adults say they have withheld use of the Internet as a form of punishment. Banning television is still more popular, reported by 57 percent of the adults.

The study also found that only 27 percent of owners use cell phones for text messaging, photo transmitting and other nonvoice functions, but the figure rises to 54 percent among those ages 18 to 24 and to 45 percent among those under 18.

The study has been conducted most years since 2000. Over that time, researchers have seen Internet use grow from 67 percent to 78 percent of those surveyed. Access at home increased to 68 percent, from 47 percent.

Here's a crazy idea:

If you think your kids are online too long, turn off the computer. If your kids scream, don't take that disrespect. If they won't obey, take the computer-- actually, just the keyboard will do.

You--parent. They--kids. You--pay the bills, including the ISP. They--have to suck it up.

And parents, just because your kids are online, it doesn't mean they're doing homework. There's plenty more to do online than just homework. There's MySpace. And IMing. And email. And games. And iTunes. And---um-- blogging.

You can say no! You can take control! Try it.


At 11/29/06, 8:42 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why is it so hard for parents to act like parents?

It drives me crazy when parents lament that they don't know what to do, all the while allowing their "sweet little babies" to walk all over them and treat them with utter disrespect!

At 11/29/06, 9:58 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You couldn't have said it any better.

At 11/29/06, 10:08 PM, Anonymous Polski3 said...

You heretic ! Our modern children cannot survive or keep "up to date" without their ton of electronic stuff....computer, ipods, cell phones, Im'ing, cartoon network, toothbrushes.....!

What a revolutionary idea....parental control ! Oh, but THAT takes work, time and effort.

I have suggested in parent conferences, to the horror of some students, that the student be returned to the stone age...a time without electricity. Most parents give it lip service, but usually not much changes. And, everyone knows Pop Warner, gymnastics, little league/softball practice/games, etc., are all more important than doing any kind of academic stuff.....

Sorry to be facetious here, but I am in a mood..... feel free to delete my comment, I won't be upset.

At 11/29/06, 11:02 PM, Blogger "Ms. Cornelius" said...

Ha-- I actually-- I swear to God-- had a parent say to me, when I suggested they say no to their kid,

"You can DO that?!"

I nearly choked.
I mean, really, as was said in that great art film, Parenthood, "...you have to have a license to have a dog, but they'll let any ____ be a parent."

And I am a parent.

At 11/29/06, 11:02 PM, Blogger "Ms. Cornelius" said...

And I will never delete a comment of yours, dear P3, because I agree with ya.

At 11/29/06, 11:24 PM, Blogger ms-teacher said...

Neither one of my teens (I have two) have yet to die from computer withdrawal when its been taken away because of poor grades. My two have also have had phone use (cell and house) restricted and nothing catastrophic ever happened. The world did not end . . . even though I'm sure they thought it would :)

At 11/30/06, 6:29 AM, Blogger Mrs.Chili said...

Oh, don't even GO there with me!

I take my job as a parent very seriously, and am horrified and disgusted by people who don't. I listen to parents complain about their children - and I watch other people's kids' behavior - and think to myself "well, DUH!" What do they expect?! A little parental participation is required.

This is why I'm glad I teach in college and not high school. I can handle the kids - it's the parents who would drive me to the brink.

Sometimes, I wish there were a board exam and licensure requirements for parents...

At 11/30/06, 7:14 AM, Anonymous nyceducator said...

You're absolutely right. I'm amazed at the number of parents I talk to who have no idea they can control their children's TV or computer habits.

At 11/30/06, 10:16 PM, Blogger Mamacita said...

WHAT? Be an adult parent to my children? But then they won't LOVE meeeeeeeeee!!!!!!!!!

I guess you already know where I stand.

Well said, indeed. I salute you.

At 12/1/06, 11:58 AM, Blogger "Ms. Cornelius" said...

Yeah, like anything that is so conditional that "if you don't give me everything I want I will turn my back on you" can be called "love" anyway....


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