Have you ever wondered how to raise a low media child? It’s not as difficult as it may seem! In fact, by following some simple tips and tricks, you can help your child enjoy a healthy and balanced media diet. So what are you waiting for? Read on to learn more!
“What is this” I exclaim as I pick through bandaged soft toys and a dog under the blanket. By the bottom of the stairs, I discover my sitting room, of course, has been transformed into a vet’s practice. Our poor patients, menagerie of animals, look at me pleadingly as I make my way towards the kitchen. No chance, I think, coffee first: then the sitting room vets.
I think we are like everyone else – but unlike so many children, my children don’t have iPads or computer games and we don’t have or watch a telly.
We are not Amish or mad. I’m an Illustrator and my husband is an Engineer. We went to normal schools, with normal parents: but we chose to raise our children without tech.
I guess you might have heard of families like mine, tech free nut-bars that wander about in long hippy skirts and do yoga semi-constantly. In your head my children are called Hush-aby-Ocean or Poppy-Snowdrop. We probably only eat lentils and are judging you constantly.
In truth we are a run of the mill family, I try to grow our own veg, but I’m a terrible weeder and by September the garden is a rampaging mess, so we buy a local veg box instead.
We want what all parents want: to raise happy, healthy children.
Screens, screens everywhere!
Plugging in and switching off, the children started almost immediately. When our friend’s babies were old enough to grab, they had a phone with bright moving pictures thrust into their hands. The smallest frustration or struggle quashed by Nanny Smartphone.
You never stood a chance – tech firms have entire departments dedicated to applying the psychology of addition to your device. Just keep scrolling. They know that the younger they can catch children in the smartphone trap the harder it is to stop that behaviour – just like any other addict. By 2020 almost half (46 per cent) of young people aged 12-16 reported that they feel they’re addicted to their smartphones.
This just didn’t seem like a good sell to us.
If you can push the shorter attention spans, access to porn and nudes to one side and forgive Nanny Smartphone these flaws—then consider her truly dark side – the leading cause of death in under 16’s is now suicide. Research shows us clearly the link between smart phone use and suicide. Depression, anxiety, aggression, and antisocial behaviour are casually linked to time on smartphones.
I can’t find the evidence that there’s an advantage for the kids.
Our Maths wheel is designed to combine beauty and mathematics. The Maths Wheel helps children see and feel the beauty in the times tables while learning multiplication.
Letting them play with the wheel, singing the tables while they move the cord, just letting them trace patterns and shapes with numbers: it all lets the children make those essential number connections, without fear.
You can view it here: https://waldorffamily.com/product/maths-wheel/
Where are the benefits?
In schools they are pushing the same tech for children to get them engaged with Maths, and in fact throughout STEM subjects.
We do have a problem in the UK with our STEM knowledge base, we simply don’t have enough talent. We are in the middle of the fourth industrial revolution, the tech race and we are not keeping up.
While online learning and YouTube clips have been helpful over lockdown and it gives teachers lots of data, does it really help our children learn? Deeply learn to ignite a passion for STEM subjects.
I would argue that the evidence shows us it does not.
The technological revolution, just like the industrial revolution before it requires us to think and make hard choices. “Everyone is doing it” is not enough. Independent thinkers before me have rejected female subjugation and slavery. We reject smartphones and digital learning platforms as something to simply swallow without thought.
I believe the Waldorf Schools have it right to teach children at around 12 to build computers, having engaged and fuelled their imaginations for 12 years children can then understand tech as a tool, like the hammer and saw before them, they can see the worlds problems with their fresh eyes: and if they have not been programmed to be a user of technology , limited to consumption, then they can become the architects of the future.
Google and the blue chip companies don’t want programmed unimaginative users who can scroll quickly. They were radical, divergent free thinkers who can learn the programming language of the time—as it changes so quickly. If you have a human who is engaged with learning, able to work with people and assimilate new information, these people will be the leaders and architects of a better society tomorrow.
Who wouldn’t want that?
About Stephanie Green
Stephanie Green, is the Artist and founder of Wilded Family. Bring art and colour into people’s homes and children’s learning. Sustainable home decor and educational products for families that celebrate the beauty and wonder in all things and encourage curiosity.
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We aim to engage hands, hearts and minds using beautiful flowing colours and original illustration. For us, beauty is everywhere and thoughts are turned into forms. Nature is the first source of creation and inspiration.
We believe that soulful thought translated into forms and colours can vivify home and we should all have art in our lives. We understand the importance of creating a home slowly, the need to think about the future, the urgency to become more aware of how our decisions have an impact on the world around us. Products we design are a balance of functional utility, spiritual function, artistic design, and sustainability.
We use materials from the earth because they are handled with care and do no harm. Everything we create can be returned to the earth or recycled.