Paradise and Parenting

By Leza Warkentin December 23, 2013 There are always some challenging parental moments for me during Christmas holidays.  For example, this year I have had several conversations with my kids that went sort of like, “I changed my mind.  I want a real pterodactyl for Christmas.” “Really?  Ha ha, that’s so cute.” “I told the Liverpool Santa and he said sure.” Also, like always, I am spending a lot of time trying to woo my children away from the excitement of The Screen, while secretly wishing I could, once in awhile, just let them build the virtual cities and make the virtual penguin friends for 16 hours straight.  But, Being Concerned For Their Well-Being, I must offer them other, similarly thrilling activities that involve the actual real world once in awhile.  The only options that seem to come even close are a) a trip to Disneyland (if Legoland was thrown in) or b) playing a board or card game with their mother. I need to come clean on one of my failings as a parent.  I don’t particularly enjoy playing table games.  It’s nothing personal against my children; it’s never been something I like to do.  And when I say “games”, I’m referring to any activity that involves organized rules, heated arguments over any type of game prop or token, or having to teach my kids the life lesson of losing to an older sibling who hasn’t learned how to win without emotionally devastating the other players.  And that means that there’s nothing else my kids would rather do. But hey, board games at Christmas!  Let’s build those lasting memories!  Let’s connect with our children and spend some quality time with them!  At the end of the day, I have no excuse besides my own inner dismay when locked into a 12 hour Monopoly marathon, the rules of which still escape me. So we haul out the Uno, or set up the checkers, or begin to search under the beds for the tiny Trouble Travel Version game pieces. I begin to inwardly cringe because I know I will have to referee between the kid who NEVER gets to go first and the kid that always introduces a new rule for choosing the first player that, oddly, consistently works in his favor. But you know, while I may not love board games, I must admit that they do combine the two essential ingredients of a quality family moment:  Learning and Fun.  And, I have discovered, I am quite excellent at buying up imaginary real estate even while (in order preserve my children’s self esteem, of course) being repeatedly sent to Monopoly jail.


  1. Step up to the new world of parenting: the iPad ! Children as young as three months old are said to be able to learn and use them. Says that it is able to rewire their brains for the electronic age. Parents no longer have to play card or board games or set them in front of the TV or video player.

    My 18 year granddaughter in high school and received an iPad a year ago, and now has over 100,000 followers.

    Tales abound about families around the Christmas tree and dinner table looking into and texting on their iPods to family members and friends. The U.S. government has been giving free iPads to K-12 students to get them associated with the digital wireless technologies.

    The government may have been too late, for in America not very many women plan on marrying because of the children problem, where the men do not want to support families, or children that will be staying with the family until middle age.

    Just look at the Christmas Present drives for less fortunate children advertised in the U.S. and Mexico. Also the food drives for the hungry and homeless in both countries. In the U.S., the theft of cellphones and iPads on public streets and public transportation to be sold in the Asian countries, has been very successful at redistribution of the peoples wealth.

    Yes, I remember in my childhood days my mother reading to me and playing cards with my sister and I. But in those days the streets were safer, and I spent most of the time outdoors playing cops and robbers , cowboys and Indians ,or riding my flexie ( four wheel flat scooter) and bicycle. There was no or few TVs in those days.

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