Friday, June 28, 2013

I am a Waldorf Parent

I am a Waldorf parent which means we are supposed to be a media free household.  I've touched upon this before briefly.  For the most part, D does not partake in any media.  She definitely doesn't watch TV on a daily basis.  When she was younger and she was sick, yes, we would like her watch some Kai Lan or Sound of Music DVDs but only when she is sick.

Sometimes, Daddy will let her watch some funny YouTube videos (though he has not done that in a while).  He does let her watch videos of her as a baby, though.  That can't be too harmful right?

In any case, I am a big fan of the media free!  To quote an article by
Thomas Poplawsi - Taming the Media Monster, "babies and toddlers need almost constant direct interactions with parents and other primary caregivers. These are necessary to healthy brain growth and the development of appropriate social, emotional, and cognitive skills.  As the child gets older, direct, hands-on interactions with other human beings, the environment and with nature are critical...these do not happen when children are involved in the unnatural activity of sitting still and watching electronic signals."

What really resonates with me is this:  the susceptibility to commercialism and materialism - all from a few hours a day of watching "the tube."

And yes, we know that boredom is good for a child.  It helps them to advance their creativity.  We should not be afraid for our children to be bored.

However, just the other day D had been solo for some time and pretty much played with everything she could.  She finally asked me if she could play with my iPhone - to play with a funny face app.  Very briefly my mind said, "Noooo.." But then I actually said, "Yes," while feeling very guilty because, well, I am a Waldorf parent.

And this is what went through my mind.  My child does not need an iPhone to entertain her, but she does need access to items, things, crafts that can help her exercise her creativity. And I didn't have that for her.  In my ideal world, I would have a boxful of cute, handmade felt puppets, a hanging stage made out of fabric...a wooden kitchen with all kinds of wooden kitchen items and utensils sitting right in our living room. Tons of old bed sheets to make a fort or two...pillows to use as props.  If I had all that, I'm pretty sure D would never ask for my iPhone.  Instead I have a measly little craft box for her filled with this and that, some construction paper, some scissors, some tape. Blah.

So, my iPhone was my crutch.  Blah, disappointing.  I better get workin'...

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