An Argument With My Teenage Son

It is probably never a good idea for one person to try to paraphrase the nature of an argument, without allowing the other person to tell their side.  But there may be something worthwhile to learn here, so here goes:

I was frustrated with my teenage son today because I believe he is too computer focused, spending too much time on YouTube and computer games, primarily consuming content and creating little content in return.

He didn’t like the thought of having to put more time and effort into creating potentially interesting or beneficial things for others, so I explained to him that by the time I was 14 I had:

- Performed in at least two choirs at all times, with daily or weekly rehearsals
- Starred as the lead in a children’s musical
- Sang at least once a month as a soloist, or in a duet, trio, quartet or small group
- Performed in seasonal church plays and musicals
- Attended church group outreach activities in addition to participating in services 3 times every week
- Performed in a high school play
- Performed as an actor in film
- Worked a part-time job after school

And in addition to that, I was getting good grades in advanced classes.

So, I could not understand how my son, who enjoys so many more luxuries and pleasantries than I did, did not feel some more compelling motivation to give something back to so many who have given so much to him.

The “problem” is probably not only with my son.  I think there are many people, from all generations, who are more than happy to be defined by what and how much they consume.

But I’d had enough for today, so I shut down his PC and TV and Internet and told him I’d like him to:

- Work on finding 2 to 4 books to at least begin reading, even if he didn’t finish them.
- Work some most days on creating something of interest or benefit for others.

To which, he said something to the effect of: “Why don’t you stop playing games on the PC and do the same.”  I agreed I’d play fewer computer games and try to create more content for others.

So, as a result, you all will suffer, and for the next 4 days, you will have more content to consider.  How do I know 4 days?  Because the posts are already completed.  You can thank (or blame) my son.

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