N is for No #AtoZChallenge

For the A to Z Challenge, I have chosen the theme of antagonists.

On my normal blogging days, Monday – parenting and Thursday – writing/publishing, I will tie that day’s topic to antagonists but on the other days (Tuesday, Friday and Saturday), I will write about antagonists from movies, TVs or books. On Wednesdays, my Quote of the Week will be from an antagonist that matches the letter of the day. Enjoy. 

No, No, No. Today is the letter N which is for the word No, the arch nemesis of every toddler.

“No, don’t touch that.”

“No, stop pulling the kitty’s tail.”

“No, you can’t watch more Blue’s Clues.”

Parents often play the antagonist to a toddler’s fun. The ever-watching parent is of course just trying to keep their child safe, but a toddler won’t see it the same way. There is this person who at times cuddles with them, but at other times makes them do things they don’t want to – take a nap, eat something other than cookies, and takes away all the cool things they find.

Of course, for the parents, they might see it as the opposite way. Every time they ask their precious little toddler to do something, they hear his or her favorite word – No!

“Time for bed, Susie.”

“No, no, no!”

“Let’s put on your shoes, Tommy.”

“No! I don’t wanna!”

So it seems the all-powerful word “No” can be the tool of either the protagonist or antagonist of your household.

And in case you want to check out my other antagonists from the challenge…

A is for Apocalypse

B is for Bad Boys (parenting)

C is for Cruella de Vil

D is for Darth Vader (Quote)

D is for To Die for Cake (Recipe)

E is for Evil (Writing)

F is for Freddy Kruger

G is for Gollum

H is for High School (parenting)

I is for Iron Monger

J is for Jafar (Quote)

K is for Killers (Writing)

L is for Loki

M is for Maleficent

It’s a different age…kids growing up with computers

computerAlmost from the time he could walk, Jase has been using a computer. We started him out with toddler games where you click on things to hear a noise or see something happen. He graduated up to preschool games that taught numbers and colors.

In kindergarten, they began going to the computer lab weekly. By this time, Jase was playing video games on the Nick Jr site on the computer (not to mention games on the Wii or Xbox). At 8, he knows how to search on Google and Amazon. In school, they are doing PowerPoint presentations and typing up research in Word. Often their homework involves going to a website to practice math or spelling or to do research.

Yep, there is no separating kids from computers nowadays. They are well adept at using a mouse almost before they can even hold a pencil. And don’t get me started on their ability to use an iPad better than I can.

Now, my husband and I have discussed our kids usage of computers, but we haven’t installed monitoring software or anything. The kids’  computer (yes, they have their own) is in our office. They are usually only on it when we are in the room, so we can monitor what they are doing.

Because they are still young (5 and 8), we have not had to worry about them entering personal information beyond their name and age. They don’t go to sites that ask for their address or birth dates. They can’t install any programs on the computer themselves – which means they can’t download anything either. They do not belong to any chat groups. They don’t instant message or have any personal pages, though they do have an email account. It is a shared account between the two of them. The only ones who know the address are family and my husband automatically gets a copy of incoming messages. They don’t know how to post pictures.

While I know they don’t or can’t do any of the items that most parents need to worry about, I do know that we need to plan for these things. We know we will need to change things as they get older and become more computer-literate. Because really the Internet can be a dangerous thing for kids. And of course, it can be a great learning tool too which is why I don’t mind them using the computer even if it is only to play a game.