Teach Your Student Gadget Etiquette
Mention a Walkman, cassette player or a transistor radio and your children look at you like you're a dinosaur. Whip off terms like iPod, Mp3 player, cell phone, two-way, PSP, Gameboy, Nintendo DS, and Blackberry (no, it's not fruit!), then they'll think they have one dope parent. (dope – that's a good thing!)
Back in the day when I was a kid, wait – stop. How did I get old enough to say things like, "back in the day…"? Anyway…when I was growing up we never had such high tech gadgets. And what's with ear buds, anyway? The ear phones I used to have looked similar to what the baggage handlers now wear on the tarmack at the airport to absorb the noise from the jets!
As I was saying, about all these gadgets - they even make backpacks with tiny compartments specifically for individual gadgets. Whether you like it or not, iPods, Mp3 players, cell phones, two-ways, PSPs, Gameboys, Nintendo DS', Blackberries (no, not the fruit!) and all those yet to be released are here to stay. As a parent, it's your responsibility to teach your student gadget etiquette.
It's interesting that backpack manufacturers are developing products that allow easier use of gadgets, yet most schools now prohibit said items. Check your school's student handbook. There is likely a section in there that reads similarly:
"No radios, tape players, pagers, cell phones etc. of any kind will be allowed on campus. These will be confiscated and not returned until the end of the school day. Upon repeated offenses, items will be confiscated and not returned until a parent or guardian comes for a conference or until the end of the year."
Whether or not your school actually has a similar policy, you could and should enforce one within your household. Those gadgets are expensive and they don't have a place at school. I don't have to tell you that it's not a good thing if your child is listening to music when she should be listening to the teacher.
Sadly, your student should be aware of the real possibility of theft. He'd be pretty bummed if his iPod turned up missing. It is just a good idea to leave all gadgets at home. If your student must have one of them with him, reinforce that it must be OFF (as in the case of a cell phone).
That said; remind your student that good old fashioned paper books are still very much permitted. One on one active listening and two-way conversations are still a positive interaction. And sometimes simply being still can do wonders for a child. Leave the gadgets at home!
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