Frank Batavick's recent opinion piece regarding our digitized lives, in my view, needs to be taken seriously by all adults who want the best, richest lives for children and for themselves.
I believe that teaching balance is the key. At a restaurant, in the car or at a family gathering, the most responsible action parents, grandparents, aunts or uncles can take is to put their ipods and smart phones away and enjoy being with the child, engaging her or him in the moment in real time and showing the child how absolutely magnificent the universe is.
Participating directly with children in team sports, the Scouts and 4-H and engaging them at the Carroll County Arts Council, the Carroll County Farm Museum, programs at our two local colleges, the Y and, of course, at one of the branches of our awesome Carroll County Public Library are great ways to teach balance between the virtual and real world to our children. And fun, too.
There was a time when kids would play outside with other neighborhood kids and learn the value of getting along with one another. If the boogeyman scares you, then let go of your computer and go outside and be around and take in the fresh air while you're at it.
Childhood is fleeting for both children and adults. Don't cheapen yours and your children's lives by limiting their life experiences to the digital screen. The opportunities are boundless if you take the time. And, please, don't any parent, grandparent or aunt or uncle who has a TV, smart phone or computer tell me you don't have the time.
John D. Witiak