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What do YOU do with your kids?

Mathematician Jeffrey Weeks and Harrison Kellogg McKenna, Valerie

Mathematician Jeffrey Weeks and Harrison Kellogg McKenna, Valerie Kellogg's son, at a recent Stony Brook University lecture Credit: Photo by Richard McKenna

See the Whitney Biennial, dine at Mac’s in Huntington, watch “Mad Men,” go to a big band Sinatra tribute show at Five Towns College, attend a Mansions & Millionaires Designer Showcase in Mill Neck, catch “Rent” at the Engeman Theater at Northport …

These are just a few of the things I have taken my 8-year-old son, Harrison, to do over the years. Just a few.

The latest event was a lecture at Stony Brook University on the “Shape of Space.” He brought some of his more curious friends, and before you knew it the primary schoolers were in front of the classroom talking physics with well-respected mathematician Jeffrey Weeks.

It’s not that I haven’t taken Harrison to Disney, any of the “Madagascar” movies, Chuck E. Cheese or countless carnivals. But in raising him, it has struck me as odd seeing other parents barely taking their kids out of the backyard or allowing them to languish in front of their iPads.

And, no, money was not always the obstacle to spending a special day out with the kids.

Letting a child be a child is a good thing. But dumbing down life for him by using baby talk and serving endless kiddie fare is another. Sometimes cartoons and children’s entertainment can be as worthless as a steady diet of pizza and chicken nuggets. The kids may want it all the time -- like Harrison does, in full disclosure -- but that doesn’t mean they should always get it.

What do you think, parents?


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