Friday, June 18, 2004

Boy's Diary, Thursday 6/17

What the heck is on Daniel's mind?! He likes games, obviously. Especially on the computer he likes Pinball. So, he asked Debi if he could play Pinball on her computer. He played for about 10 minutes, then realized he would not be able to beat her scores on the scoreboard. I don't think anyone could, she's at 7,500,000. So, what does he do? He clears the scores.

Debi exploded. She had been working on those scores for years! When we asked him why he would do such a thing, he said that he wanted to see his name on the scoreboard, and he wasn't able to beat her scores so he changed the rules so he could see his name. In other words, he cheated. He is now banned from Debi's computer until she can get those scores back to where they were.

When I spoke to him this morning about it, I discovered that he does this at home all the time. Instead of always trying to get better at the game, he would clear the scores so he didn't have to work so hard.

There are several concerns I have about this episode. First, that he would think about doing this kind of cheating at all. He's 8, and 8 year olds do things like this. But only if they are either shown that it is ok, and/or if they are not corrected when they do it. Or if they are not caught doing it. Daniel and Shea are the only players of the game on their home computers, and Shea doesn't care. So I can't say that I blame Sarah or Eric for not noticing what he was doing and correct it. Second, the fact that he was willing to erase the scores to make it easier on himself shows that he is not pushing himself to be better, and he's not being pushed as much as he could have by others.

Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan Captain Kirk was talking about the Kobiashi Maru, and saying that he changed the rules so that there was a way out of an impossible situation. In the real world, he would have been kicked out of the Academy. Gene Roddenbury decided to use this as a positive aspect of the character. And it's now influencing our culture. Cheating is not acceptable in the real world, unless we allow it to be ok. Sure, we can set priorities and not care as much about the unimportant things, but we should always be teaching our children not to cheat.

Keep pushing for higher scores instead of starting at zero. Keep working on improving your skills in sports instead of changing the rules to make the sport easier. Keep learning and reading new books instead of books you have already read. Strive for higher standards, and keep reaching for the stars. Otherwise we'll never get there.

Another Lesson Learned: Don't try to drive to Greenlake Park. We could not find a parking spot, so we went to Roosevelt Park instead. It's close, familiar and there's actually parking!

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