You’ll Shoot Your Eye Out Kid

A couple of weeks ago, I had my annual viewing of the classic movie, A Christmas Story. Like all good classic movies, there are a host of one-liners from A Christmas Story that just stick with you. One is Santa’s response to little Ralphie when he asks for a Red Ryder BB gun: “You’ll shoot your eye out kid!” Those words resonate with me because my boyhood was filled with annual requests for my own bb gun, something I was lacking but which all the other neighborhood kids had. I never got one. In hindsight, I now understand my parents’ decision and appreciate it as I see that in many ways, they were protecting me from myself. As I watched A Christmas Story this year, I got to thinking that parents today need to engage what might be called the “You’ll shoot your eye out kid” principle when it comes to putting a smartphone in the hands of a child not yet mature enough to handle the responsibility. Dr. Leonard Sax gives great advice: No smartphones in the hands of kids before the age of sixteen.