I was just watching my 8 year old son on the computer as he was busy playing an online game on the Cartoon Network website. The game he was playing was a ninja game based on the popular kid’s TV show called Ninjago. I watched him intensely focussing on beating the bad guys, and not a care in the world could distract him from his mission. What’s so amazing about it? He is just like any 8 year olds when it comes to computer / video games.
What amazed me is the fact that I did not teach him how to play the game. I have yet to figure out how he is even aware of this game site or a few others that I did not even knew they existed until my son showed them to me. He knew which keys on the keyboard to use for which movements. Basically he knows how to get into the game, enjoy the game and leave when it is done. Again, I never taught him any of that. I guess kids watch us and absorb everything they see. And they probably learned those from their friends, who in turn learned it from theirs, and so on.
I still remember vividly the time when my son was three years old and I had him on my lap while I was working on the desktop PC. He watched closely how I was moving the mouse and hence the cursor. And without any inhibition, he wanted to do the same. So I let him try. Much to my amazement, he picked it up fairly quickly how the mouse work. For a three year old to grasp that concept isn’t a small feat. I remembered that I just showed him once with a brief explanation, and he was already on his way to becoming a PC user… well sort of a user. So it should not be a surprise to see him pick up quickly how to surf the internet, etc. I believe this is the case for all kids, especially those who are fortunate enough to grow up in a home with multiple computers scattered through the house. They have no problem learning the computers. For them it is really another household gadget like the many we have around the house, such as the TV, DVD player, stereo system, microwave, etc. This is the kind of world they are familiar with, unlike the one that their parents grew up in. Ok, I’m speaking of myself, the ancient one. When I was growing up, we only play games that we made ourselves. And that never minimize one bit the amount of fun I had had in those days.
Anyway, the fact remains, kids, I believe, are gifted by our Creator to learn quickly. They have to in order to assimilate into the “grown up” world. On the caution side of the fence, as parents we need to be mindful that it also works in the negative way, meaning that they learn the negatives just as quickly. I think it is sad that too often I have seen parents neglecting to pay attention to that fact and allowed their kids to go in the wrong direction. The path they take today determines the destination where they ended up in. Put simply, “we reap what we sow…”.
To finish up, take time to notice our children, even in the seemingly mundane things they do everyday. And it will surely help us understand our children better, as they grow.