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The Value of Child Entertainment
Fifty years ago, only a raggedy baseball and an empty Cola-Cola bottle was all it took to divert most children for hours. Today’s advanced technology has provided numerous devices of entertainment for children, causing simplicity to be overwritten with dynamic means of entertainment. With television, video games, the Internet, digital scoreboards, go-karts, talking dolls, and even self-rocking baby seats, old baseballs and empty Cola-Cola bottles are not common objects with today’s generation when it comes to engaging oneself.
Most experts agree that in this day and time, the most conventional method to keep children occupied is not to spend time with them, but to rely on organizations or the gaming and entertainment industry to mind and educate them.
For newborns and toddlers as old as two years, a company called Baby Einstein provides DVDs, VHS, music CDs, books, discovery cards, toys, puppets, and baby gym centers in order to entertain and educate babies while their parents/guardians run their own errands.¬
Parents/guardians often enroll their children ranging from four years old to ten years old into after-school activities with the motive of providing them with social and commitment skills. Summer camps, girl scouts, boy scouts, sports, and other organizations keep children occupied for a couple of hours every day, as well as contribute training to acquire certain skills. For children who are reluctant to participate in social activities, there are movies and video games, which are best known to improve children’s hand-eye coordination skills.
Amusement parks, game arcades, shopping centers, movie theaters, and the Internet are some ways to help teenagers keep themselves occupied. Experts agree that today’s children are so dependent on technology that they neglect to sit down and have a snack with each other without any interruptions.
Studies have shown that the average amount of weekly allowance children as young as eight years old receive every week has quadrupled since year 2000, due to excessive demand of materialistic goods. This society has shown itself to be keen on spending money in order to have fun rather than finding enjoyment with common items.
Materialism is widely encouraged through the unofficial definition of the word “entertainment”, which is applied to owning devices such as iPods, laptops, cell phones, soccer uniforms, DVDs, and Tickle-Me-Elmos. According to studies, 78% of parents surveyed in London are under the impression that the more money they spend, the more entertained their children will be. The child with the best clown at his birthday party is likely to have parents who have that mindset.
While materialism is encouraged, today’s children are not very exposed to creativity, as modern technology has already provided that luxury.