A Non-parental Disclaimer
Posted on May 15, 2014
I have a confession to make: I’m not a parent. Don’t have kids, never had, never even really looked after any. Have never taught in a school – Universities only. I’m fine with this, but I thought that in the interests of full disclosure I should let everyone here know.
Of course, I’ve had great relationships with kids of all ages in the family, and because I’m not a registered teacher I’ve gone and done Basic First Aid Training, had a full Police Check (they call this one DICSI) and completed the Reporting Abuse and Neglect training (formerly known as Mandatory Notification training). This will be the case with all future employees of Game Truck Australia who run parties: if not registered teachers, they will go through all this training as a standard part of due diligence.
So yeah, no kids. The challenge is that part of my goal here is to facilitate discussions, and help people think through issues around kids’ use of technology and games in particular. Some might say that I have no authority to talk about these matters as I haven’t experienced bringing up children myself, and that’s hard to argue with. For instance, when Rae Johnston talks about managing kids’ use of technology she comes from from a strong position, as a mother.
What I can say in my defence is that I do have a pretty strong background in education, even having not taught in schools as such. Anyone who knows me can vouch that I’m pretty good around kids, and I’m always getting the ‘you’d be a great father’ line. And hey – I was a kid once (weren’t we all?), and I have pretty acute memories of my experience with games and what they taught me. Also, I do know a bit about games, so maybe all together that’s not such a bad CV.
However, the absolute last thing I would ever aim to do is to preach to parents about how to do their job – I do know enough to know that it’s really tough work and no-one needs to be told how to do it. Rather, what I aim to do in this blog is to put some ideas out there and encourage discussion. I think what we need more than anything in these areas is more conversations, more sharing of ideas and experiences, because we’re all in this together and no-one has all the answers. Even if simple answers can be alluring.
Finally, if I do ever say anything that sounds like an instruction (i.e. kids shouldn’t play GTAV), it definitely comes from a reasoned and well thought-out position. Readers are always welcome to call me on it or disagree in the comments section below – in fact I encourage it: it’s the aim of the blog. So join me in the discussion – let me know your thoughts, and especially let me know if I’m ever out of line.