Lots of Screens In Children’s Lives
Screens here, screens there, screens, screens everywhere — in our pockets, on our phones, in our cars, and in our homes.
It’s no wonder National Screen-Free Week was created!
And it’s not just mobile devices, computers, and smartphones — TV screens are everywhere. You see them in the pediatrician’s waiting room, restaurants, convenience stores, banks, and car repair shops. Even movie theater lobbies have TVs running previews of movies!
Preschool age children spend between 2 and 4 1/2 hours using some sort of screen each day. However, according to the “Zero to Eight: Children’s Media Use in America” study (published by Common Sense Media’s Program for the Study of Children and Media), 74% of young children’s screen time is television. Although the use of apps and video games is on the rise, for preschool children, TV is still the number one screen of choice. [ more ]
Put the Play Back Into Playtime
“Get back in the game, buddy!” calls out a dedicated dad when he sees his 4-year old athlete poking twigs in the ground to make a stick house.
Hmmm. Two kinds of play here. Soccer and imaginary twig towns.
Remember “Just Playing?”
Today’s young children certainly play more soccer and t-ball. They jump on bouncers, flap parachutes and scarves together, and clamber through ballpits in “play places.” Our children master video games created just for them and many maneuver a smart phone better than adults! There are fewer twig towns out there these days.
Do children play the same way today as we did when we were kids? [ more ]
Stubborn Refusals and Temper Tantrums Wear Everyone Out
Sometimes children’s emotional storms and “cheerful to tearful” in 10 seconds flat can tire adults out. A tantrum over putting on boots? Wailing when a tower piece won’t fit or sobbing over who was “there first”? It becomes exhausting and frustrating for everyone when children struggle with anger, disappointment, and other “big” feelings.
From an adult perspective, we think, “Really? All this drama over putting on boots? Just put the boots ON!”
Some Children Need to Learn HOW to Calm Down
These struggles look a lot like intentional defiance. However, some children are more emotional by nature than others. And some children need more help learning how to handle big feelings. In the words of one sweet child, “Sometimes when I’m in the middle of a mad, I just can’t get out.”
Good news! Adults can help children master this important life skill. The fieriest four year old can learn to manage her feelings and think before acting. The fiercest five year old can derail a rising temper and choose to stay calm. [ more ]
It’s Never Too Early to Show Children the Joys of Giving
The “Gimme” Attitude
Lots of people love to talk about children being spoiled today, being raised with a sense of entitlement. Usually, we’re talking about other people’s spoiled children but not always.
Did Socrates have specific children in mind when he observed: “The children now love luxury…have bad manners, contempt for authority…disrespect to their elders….” ?
During the busy month of December, many caring adults work very hard to create special traditions and choose perfect gifts that will delight children – who will then appreciate and remember warm holiday experiences. You know, we’re making memories! It’s a lot of work.
What Really Makes Children Happy
How frustrating and disappointing when instead of sweet gratitude and general contentedness, children instead look around for ANOTHER present or are cranky or get overstimulated by our memory-making activities. [ more ]
Ok, Shakespeare never wrote to “to praise or not to praise.” And even if he had, the real question that caring adults are asking is more about HOW and WHAT to praise.
Does It Help Children When Adults Praise?
How Often Do You Say “Good Job?”
Do any of these sound like things you might say?
- “You are a very smart little girl.”
- “You’re awesome at writing letters.”
- “Thank you for being a great helper!”
- “Wow! This is such a beautiful picture!”
[ more ]