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Archive for November 28th, 2011

Open Sesame! Open Sesame!” Uncle Li called out loudly at the doorstep last Sunday morning.

He had in his hands, two bags of books.

My children were aroused from their sleep; they quickly jumped up from their beds and rushed out to see what the hullabaloo was all about.

“Uncle Li?”

Of course they were taken aback with what they saw.

“Your mommy always complained that both of you are playing too much online games; so here are some books to help keep you fellows away from the screen!” he was grinning wickedly at them, with some mischief in his eyes.

Among the books in the bags are “Oliver Twist” by Charles Dickens and “The Adventures of The Secret Seven” by Enid Blyton. There are also several other books to improve their general knowledge. Altogether there were about sixteen of them.

“These books are from my own collection, so you better take good care of them!” he told Nicholas and Alexandra, who were delighted with their sudden good fortune.

The year-end seven weeks school holidays are here again. Just as I was figuring out how my children are going to spend their holidays in a meaningful way, here come my savior.

Uncle was god-send. Now I don’t have to worry of going to the public library anymore. I couldn’t thank him enough. At least my children have something else to occupy them other than “War-craft”, “Angry Birds” and Facebook.

I was very delighted. This is awesome! Very cool indeed!

Gone are the days when children loved to play outdoor games or enjoy the simple pleasure of reading an interesting storybook in a little quiet corner during school holidays.

Schooling, tuition and homework took up most of their time.

Their only past time is to play computer. Most of them are computer geeks. Yes, computers are their lives. Online games and Facebook are their daily diet.

Personally, I have nothing against computers. I needed them too, to do my writing, to network with friends and to catch up with the current news.

But the problem with modern technologies is that they robbed our children of their innocence and childhood.

Everywhere I went to, I saw children, some as young as five or six, busy sending sms on their ipads or playing games on them.

Can you see children today talk less, write less and read less? I have encountered some who are very remote from the adults, their parents included.

I certainly would not allow this to happen to my children. I wanted them to be able to communicate with us effectively and coherently.

Call me an old-fashioned mom if you like. Or say that I am not trendy enough, I don’t care. I think there is a limit to what my children can have.

Although many of their classmates already have their mobiles or ipads, I have yet to get these for them. I don’t intend to at all. I only got them an iphone to share. Maybe I will get them a camera someday soon. They loved photography too.

Like many parents, I have a hard time with my children whenever they planted themselves in front of the computer. Once they are there, you can’t tear them away.

In the end, I have to put a password into the computer. They needed my permission to get start on a game. I also put an alarm clock next to it so that when their playing time is up, it will ring like mad and made them jump up from their seats.

Extreme measures, yes, for geeks like them. But it works well for me.

Although some of you might think it was a bit late for teenagers like Nicholas and Alexandra to read Charles Dickens or Enid Blyton (I read them in primary schools), but you can be a grown up and still enjoy such books. Good books are timeless.

So, for this long holiday, my children and I will spend our time reading story books together, looking up new words and brushing up on spelling. Good bonding time for the children and I.

I really have Uncle  Li to thank for this treat.

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