Or how about this one: "We believe a sunscreen should do more than shield you from sunburn. That's why we created at totally new kind of sunscreen: sun protection + age protection. Introducing NEW Brand Name Blah Blah SPF 30." And on it goes.
It's not that I'm against sunscreen or skin cancer prevention, but I've been thinking about another kind caution that seems to be oddly overlooked in a culture obsessed with keeping kids safe. (The same could be said for adults, but I'm writing with a parent-focus just now.) I think it's time to think about applying a screen screen to our lives. No, I didn't accidentally type that word twice (try telling that to my spell check…) I think it's time for parents to get serious about screening screens. Right now, at the beginning of summer.
The kids are (finally!) out of school, and all that snow is a faint memory. Here in central PA the soggiest spring in decades has dried out nicely into golden green days and lightning bug spangled evenings. All the summer birds have migrated back to the pastures and woodlands – tree swallows and hummingbirds, meadowlarks and redwing blackbirds.
And where are the kids? If parents aren't careful, diligent, and sometimes downright annoyingly persistent, the kids have migrated to the screen(s) – tv, videos, DVDs, ipads, online games, playStation3, Xbox 360, and Nintentdo Wii offer hours of easy entertainment. But at what cost? I used to find screens offensive because of the garbage they offered. You know - desensitization to sex, drug/alcohol use, violence, and profanity… all still true, and probably more than ever. But I think screens are equally menacing because of what they prevent, because of what they keep kids from experiencing. So, this is my modest proposal: disconnect the cable or move the TV into a closet or out of the family room or at least get it out of the kids' bedroom or negotiate screen time for book time or set aside screen time for weekends only or something, ANYTHING that helps your kids and you cut back on screen time. And here's why: