Saturday, December 26, 2009

Grandparents don't need to be too indulgent with Christmas or Boxing Day gifts

The AARP re-ran on its website a cute article from the New York Times, Dec. 23, “Grandma’s Gifts Need Extra Reindeer,” by Julie Scelfo, link here.

The article goes into indulgent grandparents who want to give their grandchildren so many presents, when parents are concerned about clutter. Surprisingly, media savvy parents are concerned that their kids’ values will become distorted by the offerings of corporations who want to make a profit out of every “fad” that appears in the movies or anywhere in the media. Not that Harry Potter is bad – it gets the grandchildren to want to read – good – but you don’t need all the toys. There will be plenty of blue Na’vi from Avatar around probably, but maybe they provide an opportunity to teach kids about the political and social problems of our own world – or even better, the science of what habitable other worlds will be like. Our grandkids may well live long enough to see real space travel. Will we do EFT deposits of social security checks on a terraformed Mars or even Europa or Titan?

But today’s parents, maybe more that grandparents who are now the babyboomers brought up with TV and in the prosperous 50s and rebellious 60s – know the importance of social development, without so much stuff. It’s our kids – and grandkids – who will have to solve the problems of the world, like stop climate change. Our world will be turned over to them to run, and it better not be for the worse.

Merry Boxing Day!

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