- Family and Parenting
How to Raise Your Child Without TV
Please welcome a guest post by Sarah Butland. She is a very talented author who you will enjoy reading. Have fun and follow up with her bio at the end.
Television is Not the Best Educator
No matter what articles you’ve read or research you’ve done, the consensus and general rule of thumb is that television is not the best activity for your child. Especially for kids younger than two, television and other electronics has been known to cause harm to children’s brains, so why even tempt it? Despite the warnings, the world seems content on creating kids shows, DVD’s, movies and advertising directed to a young generation, some even promising to make your child smarter.
It seems there’s something out which promises to teach our kids reading, language, math and every other subject we want them to learn through electronics instead of good old-fashioned one on one time. In reality, there are many more ways available to encourage interaction, learning and relationship building we should depend more on, for our children and ourselves.
Here are five things you can do to encourage your child’s learning instead of turning something on in attempt to have electronics do it for you:
Read a Book
An easy and common one that everyone can do, reading to a child from birth is an excellent opportunity to teach, bond and be a part of your child’s growth. If you know a parent who struggles with reading, offer to drive them to a library or invite them over for story time.
In no time at all your child will be reading the same books to you and asking for time to read by themselves, leaving you time to catch up on your own reading. Another crucial part of this is reading yourself – whether it’s a novel or a newspaper, having your child see you enjoy reading will go a long way in their desire to improve their literacy skills.
No matter the season, you can easily find something fun and easy to do outside. Taking a baby for a walk even while they sleep opens their ears to the world around them. As they grow, and they all grow, they will enjoy nature and want to be in it more and more.
Being outside is known to benefit humans in many ways, including physically and mentally, so why not encourage a love for nature from the very beginning?
Play a Game
Games like peek-a-boo or patty cake are excellent in the younger years. Maintaining eye contact, singing and touching teach incredible things to babies and will strengthen your own bond with them. As they get older, bring out board games you loved playing as a child. Even if they can’t read yet, games like Sorry!, Yahtzee, and Jenga have incredible lessons within them and are easy to teach and enjoy.
Maybe not always the healthiest things to bake, you can easily find healthy and delicious recipes that are easy to bake with a child. Getting your son or daughter involved builds trust and improves your own patience, and it is fun with a treat at the end! This also teaches measurements, encourages reading and shows what having fun and being a team can produce.
Put on Some Music and Dance!
Ok, so there’s maybe a bit of electronics involved, but there doesn’t have to be. Dancing to your own music or having someone in the family play an instrument turns your home into a party. No talent or special moves necessary.
And a bonus #6: Play
Look around you. Your child already has a collection of toys that puts your old collection to shame so there’s always something to do. Dig out baby toys, alternate toys to spark new interest and, most importantly, sit down and play with them and your child.
Every once in a while don’t worry about the clean up or check your watch every 5 minutes. Sitting down with your child for a little bit each day shows you care and will always be their friend.
Each one of these ideas can be used independently or with a group so invite friends over or suggest having your child do one of these for a few minutes by themselves. Be creative and encourage independence so that you can have the time you need to cook supper without wondering what commercials are showing.
Enjoy each moment with your child as each is fleeting and may be a fond memory for both of you.
Sarah Butland was born in Ontario, the year was 1982. She now resides in Nova Scotia, Canada with her high school sweetheart and son.
The creator of BananaBoy and author of the Adventures Of Sammy series beginning with Sending You Sammy, her first published children's book, Butland dreams big and starts small. Brain Tales – Volume One and Arm Farm added to her in print collection of books among her blog (www.SarahButland.com), articles for magazines and many other forms of writing.