I’m preparing my speech called “Kiss Your Brain!” that I will be presenting this weekend and I had one of those “ah-ha” moments.
People are so concerned about organic foods and the evils of sugar, but isn’t it strange that they aren’t as concerned about what is going into their children’s brains?
*Parents pick over organic apples while their child plays with their phone in the grocery cart.
*Families go out to a “fresh” restaurant and then let their child watch a video on the iPad.
*Parents complain about teachers and schools and then let their children watch television instead of reading to them.
Every child needs a laptop, but it’s not the kind you plug in. It’s the one that comes with two knees and is just right for talking, reading, singing, and loving!
It’s time to TURN IT OFF!!!! If you love your children, then you must learn to say “NO!” and limit screen time. I know, I know, it’s so much easier to hand them a device so they’ll quit whining and complaining, but that’s like giving them a cookie or candy bar. No matter how “educational” an app might claim to be, it will never activate the brain like REAL, multi-sensory, human experiences.
Here’s a challenge for families. For one week record all the screen time your children engage in. (You might be surprised!!!) The next week try to spend that same amount of time interacting with your children by reading, playing games, going for walks, cooking, doing chores around the house, etc.
I’m not one of those radical educators who says no screen time, but you do need to set limits and remember like any nutritionist will tell you - “ALL THINGS IN MODERATION.”
Look them in the eyes, talk to them, and you might be surprised how delightful and entertaining they can be. And if you can’t find a little joy in engaging with your child, you might need to do something about it.
Maybe I need to write a book called ORGANIC PARENTING? Actually, if you go to my website (drjean.org) this month you will be able to download 50+ free cards of fun things to do with children. I’ve run them off and I’m going to give them like a “gift” to my grandchildren when they visit this summer. Each day I’m going to let them choose a special activity that we can do together.
Give their bodies organic foods, but give their brains organic/real/natural/quality time and attention!
P.S. You know I'm not very good at social networking, but if anyone reading this would share it with a "mommy blogger" I'd be grateful. Thanks!
I do try to practice what I preach. Here we are waiting for a train in Amsterdam. And, I don’t know what we would have done without the silly putty making us look silly!