There are many people that will tell you the screen is part of our way of life today. That may be true but the effects are harmful if not put into perspective and balanced with the needs of our minds and bodies.
Imagine a world where children don't run and climb trees! Fish with their Dad,Mom or big brother. Cook mud pies in the sun and catch fire flies in a jar. Remember the feeling of sleeping out in the backyard under the stars? This world is not virtual it is reality and we must give our kids and ourselves the tools to break free from the screens. I know, we do it to ourselves. But as with anything it is good to take a break.
It is my belief the those thing we experience outside in nature, the sounds the smells ,the sights are what lasting memories are made of. There is growing evidence that the less kids are outside the less connection to the earth they will have. There will be no environmentalists, biologists,etc.. When will it be too late?
Screen-Free Week is a very small action. But it is worth doing. When it is over extend it into two days a week. Return your family to the living room. (remember why it is called a LIVING room?) Listen to your husband, your kids,your Mom,the birds and the bees. Listen to the quiet.
Things you can do:
- Read to the kids your favorite book
- Paper mache balloons for masks
- Plant a flower garden
- Clean out the toy closet
- Sleep out
- Learn to crochet
- Write a letter to the President
- Go to the Library
- Have running races
- Play catch
- Watch for birds, identify as many as you can
- Watch for bees, how many kinds are there
- Take pictures but don't upload for the week! Remember film?
- Tell stories
- Play dress-up
- Climb trees
- Go fishing
- Dig for worms
- Make play dough with flour
- Cook a meal with the kids as chefs in training
- Plan and start a project you can enter in your county fair
- Make certificates for yourselves for accomplishing Screen-Free Week 2012!
Screen Free Week is officially April 30th -May 6th 2012. Good Luck. I'd love to know if you are doing it!
TALKING WITH CHILDREN
ABOUT TV & OTHER MEDIA
ABOUT TV & OTHER MEDIA
ONE WAY TO HAVE A POSITIVE INFLUENCE ON WHAT
CHILDREN LEARN FROM THE MEDIA IS TO TALK TO THEM
ABOUT WHAT THEY SEE. HAVE A GIVE-AND-TAKE
DISCUSSION INSTEAD OF A LECTURE WHERE
YOU GIVE THE ANSWERS.
By listening and asking questions, you can learn children’s
perceptions, fears, and misconceptions. Then you can offer ideas
on how to deal with their concerns and expand their thinking.
Here are some suggestions for how to talk with children about
what they see on TV and in other media.
TALK ABOUT YOUR REACTIONS TO WHAT YOU SAW.
• What did you think about that show/game?
• Did you like it when ______________happened? Why do you think it happened?
• I didn’t like it when ______________. I wish they didn’t have to hurt each other.
HELP SORT OUT FANTASY FROM REALITY.
• What was pretend and what was real? How could you tell?
• Help clarify confusion by saying things such as, “In real life things don’t work that way.”
• I wonder how they made ______ happen on that show.
• How can we tell the difference between these advertisements and the show?
• I wonder why they made the ad like that?
• Can you remember a time when we bought something and it wasn’t like the ad?
COMPARE WHAT YOUR CHILD SAW TO THEIR PERSONAL EXPERIENCE.
• Could anything like __________happen to you? When? How could it be the same/different?
• What would you do if you were in that situation?
DISCUSS ANY VIOLENCE OR OTHER MEAN-SPIRITED BEHAVIOR.
• What do you think about how _______solved their problem?
• If you had a problem like that what could you do or say?
• Can you think of a way to solve that problem where no one gets hurt?
ASK QUESTIONS THAT FOCUS ON STEREOTYPED IMAGES AND BEHAVIORS.
• I wonder why it’s always men with big muscles who go to fight. Did you notice that? What do you think about it?
• It seems like the women always need to get rescued by the men. Have you noticed that?
• I wonder why the “bad guys” have foreign accents, always wear dark colors, and have darker skin.
(Adapted from Remote Control Childhood (Levin, 1998)
Please Copy & Distribute
What You Can Do
Beyond the Home
Parents talk about media
with other parents.
FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT BABIES, SEE THE: TRUCE
INFANT-TODDLER PLAY, TOYS & MEDIA ACTION GUIDE.
• Find out what your children are watching at other homes.
Talk with neighbors, grandparents, teachers, childcare
providers, and babysitters about how you like to handle
media with your child.
• Work out with other families about how you’ll deal with
TV and other media when your children are at each
other’s houses for play dates, birthday parties, etc.