Tuesday, August 20, 2013

The summer reading died… and rose again.

If you know me, you know I live in a home fully overrun by teenagers, hormones and inane justifications. In the 21st century world of the modern American teenager, life is… interesting. 

They've grown up in homes that science fiction could only dream of just 50 years ago. Everything in their world, from cars to phones to TVs–all are run by ever powerful computers. The internet is accessible via more than a dozen devices in their home. 

What's more, they couldn't be more clueless... about almost everything. 

This past summer, when asked why he doesn't read more, one of my sons responded; "this is my summer, I read enough over the school year. I don't want to have to do work over the summer as well." When ON EARTH did reading become "work?" 

It happened because movies, the internet and those deliciously sinful video games have eroded our children's ability to use their imagination. I have watched this same boy sit and stare blankly at the floor or ceiling–for 20 minutes or more–because he can't possibly fathom an afternoon where the television isn't on.

I've watched as jittery fingers shred papers, clothes and even furniture due to idle fidgeting because mental and visceral stimulation has been removed from their world. But when I didn't give in to the complaining and sulking, a very funny thing happened.

The kids started to read, play board games and interact with each other. Yes, reading was resurrected. Maybe there is hope for the world after all. Not much–but it's a start. 

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