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Archive for the ‘school kids’ Category

Of course there are buckets of mindless, consequence-free violence available to our children, in the form of video games where the only real goal is to do as much shooting, punching or murdering as possible. If slaughter is not for you, you might like to build walls in Minecraft, or collect benign, animated creatures in Pokemon Go. But what about play that provides a sophisticated metaphor for the real world, in all its complicated harshness?

I watch my son, and now also my daughter, playing D&D with their dad. My daughter, AKA Sarah Grindbone, nearly loses her life. My son, AKA Sword Slasher, has to decide whether to risk his own life to save her. It’s agonising, because this isn’t like video games, where you instantly “respawn” if you die, without weight or consequence. In D&D, if you die, you die.

It’s a game that’s set in a dark, scary place. It’s not peaceful or cute, but it is creative. It takes teamwork, imagination, and concentration. It’s a place of nuance. And yes, there are devils lurking. A lot like real life.

A lovely, layered article by my friend, Monica Dux in The Age, “Stranger Things lures a new generation into a nuanced world of Dungeons and Dragons”.

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It is With a Heavy Heart That I Announce Am Having My Parents Pick Me Up Early From This Sleepover at The Onion.

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After doing an hour of algebra homework with the ten year old I take her to bed to say goodnight, and observe that her room is very like her equations… “Sloppy?” she asks delightedly. “There’s a lesson in this” I said, “but good luck finding it in such a messy room”.

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Gayby Baby is freely available at the moment on SBS by Demand. I recommend it because it’s incredibly charming. It follows the lives of four kids whose parents are gay. As they each move into puberty, the outside world of Australia is debating the issue of marriage equality, and whether or not kids of same-sex families are at risk.

My children watched it with us and were completely transfixed. Then they laughed and rolled their eyes because “these mums are exactly like you”. So much feminist parenting, so much.

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