There are no limits to your imagination & creativity. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, & you’re the beholder. Open your mind & explore, the world is at your fingertips.
I am so open minded when it comes to parenting. I firmly believe that parenting is different for every child. I don’t care if you breastfeed, formula feed, or do both; as long as your child is fed. I don’t care if your baby cosleeps, sleeps in a play pen, or has slept in their room since day one; as long as they’re getting a good night’s rest. I don’t care what language, culture, or political preferences you teach your child. But please let your kid be a kid.
Don’t constantly sit them in front of the television.
Don’t give them your iPad or cellphone every time they get hyper; they’re children.
Don’t sit down at a restaurant & allow your kids to bury their heads in technology.
Children have to learn to be decent human beings. They have to learn how to act in public when they don’t have electronics everywhere. I know it’s easier than actually teaching them how to behave. It’s easier than disciplining your bratty child in front of people.
However, overloading your small children with technology doesn’t just hinder them socially. They suffer from “I’m entitled to new electronics for every holiday”. Cell phones, tablets, iPods, laptops, TVs, etc.
The thing that bothers me the most is that we as parents are killing our children’s imagination. We’re killing their creative capacity.
I work at a child development center where I run the performing arts classroom. All day long children from the ages of 6-12 transition in & out of a classroom full of costumes, masks, art supplies, music, & props. I would’ve LOVED something like this as a kid. I used to gather food in my backyard (leaves, dirt, grass, pebbles), put them in my big stew pot (any bucket I could find), & mix them with all my different cooking utensils (sticks). Didn’t we all do things like this?
I really struggle to encourage creativity in my classroom.. During our Pirate themed week I allowed the kids to drawing treasure maps. I was thinking this would be a super easy & fun activity for all the kids. I gave them 3 rules: there has to be a starting point, an “X” to mark the spot, & 5 obstacles of their choice (volcano, caves, forest, rivers, lions, etc). This was ridiculously hard for the majority of my students. They literally could not make themselves think of 5 things when they had an endless amount of options. The next day was worse. I asked the kids to write a short pirate story. There simply had to be 4 characters, a problem & a solution. I think maybe 5 kids were able to write a story that literally could have been about anything in the world as long as it included a pirate.
These kids have been raised on television & movies, video games, & music videos. They haven’t needed to pretend. They’ve never needed to think for themselves because someone else’s thoughts & visualizations are plastered on a screen for them. The kids can’t even play charades unless they have props for everything. If they were supposed to act out “driving a car” they would literally ask me, “how can I act that out? I don’t have a car.” It is honestly heart breaking. I can’t imagine a childhood without imagination but I witness it everyday. Not to mention they ask me everyday to trash my lesson plan so that they can play on tablets or play on their phones, or worse, MY phone.
I’m not saying never let your kid watch TV or occasionally play games on a tablet. But please stop handing children electronics every time you don’t feel like parenting or spending time with them. There are so many dramatic play toys & costumes for kids of all ages. Next time your 3 year old brings you a fake phone, answer it. Next time they ask you to have a tea party or hunt dinosaurs, play with them. When they’re playing doctor & need a patient, pretend you broke your leg. Choose books over movies. We can encourage their minds to grow. We can support their creativity. Don’t kill their imagination for your convenience.