My household along with a lot of other households with children is going through a Pokemon craze. It started with the cards last year, then the cartoons. It’s so bad that even my 2 year old is obsessed. It’s all about Pokemon and Pikachu! Showing my age now – but honestly what is this show about??
Recently though, a Pokemon App is taking the world by storm – Pokemon Go. Some people are saying how great it is to have children play this game because it encourages kids to get out – even if it is in an alternative reality of catching Pikachu. At least they’re not inside.
My son, like many boys his age wants to play this, but I have to say a clear ‘sorry’ to my son. I am not one of those mums that will allow their young child to play this game. I’m afraid my dear son, I am never going to be a ‘cool’ mum. You my son will likely miss out on being ‘cool’ like your friends for years to come, because after Pokemon Go, there will be many more silly fads which will come and add nothing to your development intellectually, emotionally or physically. You’ll likely ‘hate’ me and ridicule me to your friends and roll your eyes at me (he’s already started doing this!), but I’m willing to wear that.
My husband says that I have to ‘ease up’ and that I can’t keep him away from these sorts of games and devices forever. To that, I say maybe not, but he’s 8 years old and I would rather have him read, draw, ride a bike, than walk around staring at a phone trying to catch Pikachu.
While this App may help to get kids out, I find it sad to see young kids out, mobiles in hand staring at their screens. While there are many brains working right now on how to harness Pokemon Go for the greater good of protecting nature, I think having a love of nature yourself is the best way to create these values in your children. Get out yourself and get into nature. Talk about it and feel connected to it. Even if you don’t live near bushland or a beach – find a pocket of trees, grass, a communal area, plaza – whatever it is, get out there and have fun with it yourself, despite the limited time you might have.
The connection to nature is disappearing. With more people living in cities and cities becoming denser and nature being taken out of cities – it is harder to get to nature and hard to feel connected to it. With the earth facing the next mass extinction episode, we need to get back to nature. Nature provides everything to us – water, air, materials. Even the ones that fuel our lights, the materials that go into our devices, the materials that we wear and build with – it originates from the earth.
I am often saying to my husband to get out into the garden and potter around, because if he does, my son eventually leaves his room and follows. It is their personal preference to be inside with toys, but getting both boys in my life outside is my mission and I hope not to rely on Pikachu to do that!
I’d love to hear your thoughts. Am I being too tough?