(This post is more about COMPUTERS than TV, but at the bottom you can read a lot of comments about TV and how different families deal with TV and other screens. This post is written from a Waldorf perspective and the Waldorf perspective actually is NOT that TV or screens are “evil” or “forbidden”, but that there is a proper time and place for these screens in development of the child according to the development of the three and four fold bodies. That is all!)
Okay, you all can agree or disagree, but here is my rant of the day:
From Nielsen Online:
“Kids from two to 11 years of age are spending 63 percent more time online than they did five years ago, says a report released Monday from Nielsen Online. Children in that age range were online an average of 11 hours in May 2009 versus just 7 hours in May 2004.
Over the past five years, the total number of kids surfing the Net has shot up 18 percent to 16 million, says the report, while the overall Internet population has risen only 10 percent. The younger set now represents 9.5 percent of the online community.”
This just saddens and sickens me. Really, children age 2 have nothing else better to do than to sit in front of a screen?? Is it not enough that we are already fighting the insane levels of television watching and corresponding obesity and lack of outside play time for our children?
Are our children truly happy and carefree these days? Are they healthy? I would say not. I have talked with many, many pediatric health care professionals (because I am one!!) ranging from pediatricians to naturopaths to chiropractors to mental health care professionals who are all saying the same things: kids today are stressed out, they are seeing mental and physical health problems in our children that were never seen before except in middle-aged or elderly people, that children today are anxious and by the teenaged years can be completely depressed, “jaded”, old ahead of their time.
Stop the madness now!
What do children need? If you all have read any post on this blog you will know what I am about to say:
For Small Children Under the Age of 9:
Imitation and having parents doing something worthy to imitate!, warmth, protection of the 12 senses, outside time in nature, free play with open ended toys, less talking, singing and music and art, practical work around the house, parents who are warm and loving and kind but yet will set limits, a rhythm that does most of the limit setting for you for the under 7 crowd especially, repetition, less choices, education that focuses on the whole body and all the senses and not just the head, education that focuses on lighting up the imagination and not just stuffing the head with facts, keeping children in their bodies, regular sleep and rest times each day, warming and healthy foods…
Whew! Did I miss anything??
Television and computers are not needed at such an early age. Children who start using computers at such an early age are not going to have any more of a technological advantage over a child starting a computer later…Why our educational system has gone to using computers in the classroom for the Early Grades and even Kindergarten and Preschool, I will never know! Children need to be in their bodies, not with their eyes focused on a screen and their hands tied to a keyboard with rapidly moving images!
This boils down to Parents Feeling They Need Something To Do With Their Children. And We Don’t Know What To Do, so Let’s Use A Screen. Small children do not need a screen, they need your loving presence. Instead of popping in a video to get some cleaning done, involve your child in the cleaning. It may take twice as long, but are you truly in a rush? Why? Slow down! Children are not something you can take and stuff time for them in a day planner. Children needs copious amounts of Quantity Time. Unhurried, unrushed time.
Yes, they need your time, in your home, in a peaceful and warm and loving environment. They need parents who can slow down, and make hard choices to slow down if this is possible. If you are a single parents or struggling to make ends meet, you may not have a choice whether to stay home or work. But you do have a choice how you structure the time with your child after work it most likely should involve not more stimulation, but learning how to be home and be okay with being home…..
Enough ranting now,