[FoRK] Re: Re: yet another story about my kid

Corinna < corinna.schultz at gmail.com > on > Tue Mar 7 10:14:12 PST 2006

 I wrote:
>It's a shame so many kids spend way too much
>  time in unproductive activities.

"Joe Barrera" <joe at barrera.org> wrote in message
> How much time is too much time?

I was thinking something along the lines of (depending on the age of the 
kid) TV, wandering aimlessly in the street or at the mall, video games, 
talking on the phone, worrying about how they look.

I completely understand that kids need time to daydream, hang out, relax 
with a game. Being unproductive is (I think) a necessary part of the day.

How much time is too much? Depends on the kid -- at some point an 
"unproductive" activity stops being useful, relaxing, life-giving and starts 
being degrading, dissipating, and pushes out other activities which would 
give life or otherwise benefit the person.

If I surf the Internet for about 30 min, it's "unproductive" but still 
meaningful in some way (relaxing, downtime, etc). If I surf the Internet for 
1 hour or more, it becomes escapist, or otherwise damaging to my values. 
Somewhere between 30min and 60 min is "too much time" for me, for surfing 
the Internet.

For reading most fiction, the "too much time" limit is between 1 and 2 

Each activity has it's own time limit, for each person.

I know my kids well enough to be able to tell if they're being unproductive 
in a damaging way, and I can prod them into doing something else. My kids 
are still little, and I expect the dynamics will change as they become 
older. Hopefully by then, they will be well on the way to internalizing the 
value of meaningful activity.


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