The nephew is bad, bad, bad. Both parents he gets it from, the poor little guy. He's doomed. But he has his moments.
It was about 2 years ago, the nephew's dad got him an iPad for Christmas, I think it was. He was about 4 years old then. And you could see immediately, how addicting that iPad is to kids. How it even seems it was made specifically just for kids. How easily he was able to begin using the thing right-away,—at only 4 years old even, it was shocking—like it was natural, just another extension of himself, like another arm or something, this technology.
But these passed couple years are vital years in the growth of a child I see. The nephew being so bad, my mom very, very, very rarely let him use the iPad. Not till he's good, she'd say and say, till he listens. Which is almost never, or for any extended amount of time long enough.
And it's been a long 2 years, all the discipline. I've been home only about 6 months of those 2 years, and the constant disciple that the nephew requires has my mind completely fried. I'd do it differently, discipline, if I was his father, if I had kids of my own, than my mom and the step dad have done with him, the nephew. But that's a different story. The nephew has made a world of progress regardless. He'll always have this rebellious streak, questioning authority—he's my nephew too afterall. But he can at least now appear for some time to be a good little boy. Which is the goal I suppose, in order to make another agreeable member of society.
And he's fairly good now a lot of the time, the nephew. He listens decently. Till he's bored. And in that boredom, the brakes come off completely—the flood gates burst open wide. And he is a monster, unapologetically, mean and nasty.
And it's my mother who noticed this, I realized only this morning, the nephew's behavior because of boredom. He was kicking-up a whole ruckus this morning. The step dad was doing chores round the house. I was in the garret reading. Mom was still at the job. The nephew was left to entertain himself. And he was nearly tearing up the house in his rage. The step dad turned off the TV as punishment. Till my mother came home and seemed to recognize the situation almost immediately. Get the iPad, she said. And the nephew has been an angel all day since. Barely a peep he's made.
I've come down from the garret throughout the day. And I'll go see what the nephew is up to, sitting there so engulfed in the iPad. Curious what's keeping him so quiet.
And he's on YouTube, watching videos of people playing video games, listening to them talk. And I ask him, why don't you just play the game yourself instead of watch other people play it? He looks at me like I've just revealed the secrets of the world to him. And then his face twists-up. And out comes an excuse, the rationalization, that he has to watch how it's played first so that he'll know how to play. We learn better by doing, I say, and walk away knowing he won't understand.
But there's opportunity here with these iPads. It's unfortunate that those already taking advantage of this opportunity are pumping junk. But that's how it goes, peoples's greed. But as addicted to these iPads—these tools of technology—it seems these kids become, so naturally able to understand and operate them, why not use this for good? Why not educate through entertainment than pump this junk food that's being served instead? The tools are here. It's only the message that needs changed.