Let Children Be Children

Published on: 1/6/2010

I was watching a local TV news program yesterday morning. This is one of those stations that does not tap into a national morning program such as Today or Good Morning America so it was all local.  They were interviewing a so-called expert on children’s electronic gadgets/toys.  The lady was explaining several electronic gadgets for children.  One was a small headphone set – stored flat, easy to carry, and easy for the child to put on his/her head.  One of the expert’s comments about the earphones was: “I love these.  I put them on my child for the 18 minute ride to school so she can watch/listen to a DVD while I listen to the radio.”  What are we coming to, I thought to myself, when we have to put earphones on a child for an 18 minute ride in an SUV.  Why do young parents think that children constantly have to be entertained?  What happened to the idea that a child can sit quietly in a vehicle, look around and take in the environment as the vehicle proceeds to its destination?  This goes along with the belief that we should let children play more on there own instead of trying to constantly entertain them.  As parents we did not try to constantly entertain our children either by our own interaction with them or by sitting them in front of the TV.  This does not mean that we did not play with them; we did, but not all the time. Children need time to discover things on their own or maybe just sit and think, if possible.  I fear that today’s children are too wired and will not be able to develop their imaginations.  This would be a sad development in a time when we will need new ways of solving new and old problems.