Many parents who would like to turn off the TV and spend more time with the family are worried that without TV they would constantly be on call as entertainers for their children. They remember thinking up all sorts of things to do when they were kids. But their own kids seem different, less resourceful, somehow. These parents find regretfully that their kids seem unable to come up with any thing to do besides turning on the TV.
One father, for example, says, “When I was a kid, we were always thinking up things to do, projects and games. We certainly never complained in an annoying way to our parents, ‘I have nothing to do!’” He compares this with his own children today: “They’re simply lazy. If someone doesn’t entertain them, they’ll happily sit there watching TV all day.” There is one word for this father’s disappointment: unfair. It is as if he were disappointed in his children for their not reading Greek though they have never studied the language. He deplores (哀叹) his children’s lack of inventiveness, as if playing were some inborn ability his children are missing. In fact, while the tendency to play is built into the human species, the actual ability to play ― to imagine, to invent, are skills that have to be learned and developed.
Such disappointment, however, is not only unjust, it is also destructive. Sensing their parents’ disappointment, children come to believe that they are, indeed, lacking in something, which makes them feel less worthy of admiration and respect. Giving children the opportunity to develop new resources, to enlarge their horizons and discover the pleasures of doing things on their own is, on the other hand, a way to help children develop a confident feeling about themselves as capable and inventive people.
be on call:随时可用，随时到
例：I'm on call.我随叫随到。
Who's on call tonight?今晚谁值班?
Physicians who were on call for48 hours.48小时随叫随到的医生们
come up with: 提出，想出
例：He's come up with a great idea. 他想出了一个绝好的办法。
The scientists are beating their brains trying to come up with a solution to the problem.科学家正绞尽脑汁，力求找到解决这个问题的办法。
enlarge one's horizons: 使某人眼界开阔