Oh, Dearest Mother, Sweetest Virgin of Altagracia, our Patroness. You are our Advocate and to you we recommend our needs. You are our Teacher and like disciples we come to learn from the example of your holy life. You are our Mother, and like children, we come to offer you all of the love of our hearts. Receive, dearest Mother, our offerings and listen attentively to our supplications. Amen.



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stellamaris
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Posted: Feb 09 2010 at 10:46am | IP Logged Quote stellamaris

Chapter Six of Simplicity Parenting discusses the need to protect our children from TMI! It is surrounding us...radios, TV, Internet; it is in our homes at the dinner table and in the general conversations we have. On the one hand, as a parent of older children, there is a need to address current social problems and issues, while on the other hand, we would like to guard the hearts of our younger children from too much exposure. When you have only young children, it is easier to regulate the flow of information, but as the family grows it gets harder and harder.

KJP talks about "controlling screens". Even children's programming often models inappropriate behaviors and portrays frightening images. How do you "control screens"? Ideas for locking up your computer or using "nanny" filters? What has worked for you?

Family discussion can be a source of concern, especially if you have frequent occasion to be with relatives that do not monitor their speech. I know that our younger children have been distressed after visiting in relative's homes and having seen some scary images on TV--not shows, just the news and ads! This can be so hard to deal with, and KJP does not address this. Do you tell grandparents they can't have their grandchildren visit? Do you insist they turn of the TV?
My husband and I have tried to be more careful about the dinner table topics since reading this chapter, but what about the sufferings of people around the world, such as Haiti? We do discuss this and such topics also come up when we pray the Rosary. I try to limit "visuals", because I do think these can be truly disturbing and have no real value for young children.

KJP touches on other topics, my favorite being his discussion of talking less:

Quote:
The more you say, the less you are listening.


We have used the "true, kind, and necessary" filters here for quite a while. They are helpful, although the definition of "necessary" is a little bit abstract for younger children (or even adults ) to understand.

So, your thoughts?

BTW, we are going to try to wrap up this discussion before Lent, so I'll be posting the last chapter at the end of the week.

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CatholicMommy
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Posted: Feb 09 2010 at 11:02pm | IP Logged Quote CatholicMommy

As you say, it is easier to filter TMI for the littler ones, but as they get older, they also talk with their friends about things too... Little ones get together and talk about their favorite game or whatever is in the moment; older children will talk about whatever is on their heart and sometimes that leads to our own children being exposed to more than we would like (and sometimes vice-versa! how many times my own son, even at 5 could have said something inappropriate to another child - we don't "do" Santa for one example, but that is innocuous compared to most things we are concerned about being shared among children).

With my son's grandparents, there is a huge "he's in our house and if we want the tv on all the time it will be on, but we'll keep children's programming on" - well, that's not good enough when he comes home with the SpongeBob-attitude (see past posts of mine regarding my feeling about poor little SpongeBob).

While, in general, I am a little more open with my son about some topics (and I intend to continue this), I am also particular about "how" things are worded, so if he hears about these things in the outside world, he will 1) not give as much attention to it, because it's not something "new" to him 2) he will have our family's opinion on the matter 3) he won't be as shocked by some things and 4) he's not had an easy life anyway so to hide certain things is just pointless at this point.

I had other thoughts, but they are escaping me now... we're in the middle of our physical simplification (always ongoing, but right now we're at it so hard, it physically hurts!) - and my house is a mess! But I'm seeing progress and it's beautiful!

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stellamaris
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Posted: Feb 10 2010 at 4:01am | IP Logged Quote stellamaris

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With my son's grandparents, there is a huge "he's in our house and if we want the tv on all the time it will be on, but we'll keep children's programming on" - well, that's not good enough when he comes home with the SpongeBob-attitude (see past posts of mine regarding my feeling about poor little SpongeBob).


You might want to share with them this quote that I just read yesterday in the book Nuture Shock: New Thinking About Children:

"...educational television had a dramatic effect on relational aggression. The more the kids watched, the crueler they'd be to their classmates...Scheibe's analysis subsequently revealed that 96% of all children's programming includes verbal insults and put-downs, averaging 7.7 put-downs per half-hour episode.
...Had the insult lines been said in real life, they would have been breathtaking in their cruelty ("How do you sleep at night knowing you're a complete failure?" from SpongeBob Squarepants.)...Of the 2,628 put-downs the team identified, in only 50 instances was the insulter reprimanded or corrected-and not once in an educational show. Fully 84% of the time, there was either only laughter or no response at all.[QUOTE]

This is very sobering information. We all know how easily children model behavior, so I think that filtering out negative and destructive behavior models is as important as filtering out anxiety-producing information. What we as adults see as funny, the children evidently see as just the way they should act.

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Posted: Feb 10 2010 at 6:49am | IP Logged Quote SeaStar

Goodness- the above quote is frightening. But I see that- even in the CCC dvds we watch about the saints there are cruel people and insults. They are not of the Sponge Bob variety, but still....



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Posted: Feb 10 2010 at 4:48pm | IP Logged Quote Waverley

Caroline,

I too am in the middle of reading Nurture Shock and am really enjoying it. I don't suppose after Lent you want to lead a book club for Nurture Shock like you did for Simplicity Parenting? You've done a great job here!

As for controlling information flow, I agree that it is very hard. We put the paper away when the littles come down in the morning because it is TMI for them. It's also hard to listen to news radio during the day for the same reason. Like CatholicMommy we do try to keep them informed about major world events. We do try to do it in a way that lets them know of the event but spares them the graphics. I agree with Caroline that limiting the "visuals" is important.

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stellamaris
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Posted: Feb 10 2010 at 6:43pm | IP Logged Quote stellamaris

Quote:
I too am in the middle of reading Nurture Shock and am really enjoying it. I don't suppose after Lent you want to lead a book club for Nurture Shock like you did for Simplicity Parenting?


If there's enough interest, I could lead a discussion. Definitely not until after Lent, though. You could lead it, Waverley, if you want to. It's always nice to have different people leading the discussions.

Btw, I am so enjoying the liturgical year emails! Thanks so much. I love the simplicity of them!

Now, back to SP and KJP...alphabet soup!

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Posted: Feb 10 2010 at 8:47pm | IP Logged Quote teachingmyown

I am really enjoying this chapter. I am not quite through. (The snow has been keeping things crazy here!) It is so full of ideas, really it could have been a couple of chapters.

I can identify with the mother who one word was worry. Although, I wouldn't say that I worry about the things she does, like my children being competitive. But I do worry about them, what are they feeling? am I giving them enough time/love/attention? are they safe? I am a worrier by nature and though I try to temper it, I do get overwhelmed at times.

His advice to limit negative information for ourselves is good. I do think that sensationalizing of crimes makes us think that the world is a scary place. I still tend to be more protective than is good. I try to remember that they belong to God and I need to trust Him.

I loved his analogy using Uncle Andy to represent TV. He really had me going because I have a brother who would rival Uncle Andy! I found myself really pondering his ideas about TV. We don't watch "TV". But we do watch videos that are chosen by us. We do have some video games. So, our video watching wouldn't come under the filtering problem, but maybe the somewhat violent (LOTR, Star Wars) video games might? Also the time factor. As homeschoolers, can we allow our kids more time in front of a screen than he recommends because the kids are home all day. They spend hours doing other things, playing, active play, art, reading, school work, interacting with others and talking about things, etc. Two hours watching a video or playing a computer game doesn't seem like that much, especially when it isn't every day.

And what about educational videos or software? I am finding that ds12 is doing well with educational software, and they all seem to retain more from a history DVD than a textbook. Does this count as the screen time that he says is bad for their development?

I also really appreciated the whole discussion of involvement. The image of being the base camp that they will slowly start stepping away from but always can come back to, a safe place from which to grow and explore, was touching. Of course, I appreciate his belief that we are to act as a filter, especially when society accuses of sheltering our kids like it is a bad thing!

It is interesting in his discussion of helicopter parenting that he touches on the privacy of kids referencing things like software to track the kids on the computer. I would think that he and I would disagree here, but maybe not. Maybe he would in fact say that kids shouldn't even be somewhere online that needs to be monitored. But as they move toward more freedom and independence online, I think as parents we have the obligation to be looking over their shoulders and heading off danger that we can see and they may not.

I would love to go on, but I need to get to bed. Maybe I will post more about his Backing Off sections tomorrow.

Can't wait to hear what the rest of you think about my rambling comments!

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Posted: Feb 11 2010 at 7:59pm | IP Logged Quote Christine

SeaStar wrote:
Goodness- the above quote is frightening. But I see that- even in the CCC dvds we watch about the saints there are cruel people and insults. They are not of the Sponge Bob variety, but still....

After watching St. Nicholas at age 2, my youngest son started saying, "You, Christian, you're going to jail." Thankfully, he no longer says it, but I am very aware of the affect that dvds have on his behavior and his vocabulary. He focuses on the negative things.
I can't wait for Ash Wednesday because we unplug the tv throughout Lent. Friday night family video nights are put on hold until after Easter (I do usually enjoy these) and the children stop asking to watch a dvd when I am putting their youngest sister down for a nap.

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Posted: Feb 11 2010 at 8:25pm | IP Logged Quote stellamaris

Teachingmyown wrote:
Quote:
And what about educational videos or software? I am finding that ds12 is doing well with educational software, and they all seem to retain more from a history DVD than a textbook. Does this count as the screen time that he says is bad for their development?


Molly, I wondered about this too. I've always felt there were two aspects to the TV/video problem. One is the content reflecting inappropriate, undesirable behaviors and values, and the other is more the impact of the actual technology itself on our bodies and minds. For example, spending time on the computer in the evening causes too much light to be entering the eyes and disrupts our ability to sleep. I notice a certain type of stress that afflicts me when I am online too much, or watching videos for too long. Maybe it is just the sitting or maybe it's something else like the light, but even good programming and educational material seems to have this impact on me. I notice my children seem more "hyper" and touchy if they watch too much TV (which I feel we always do in Jan and Feb, especially this year!!!). The book Endangered Minds discusses the impact of too much visual stimulation on children's mental development. So, I wonder about how much time on the computer learning games,etc., will be "safe". This is more of a problem now for me as my special needs child benefits from the assisted technology a computer offers and from playing Wii sports.
How much is too much? Is any screen time at all too much? Should we set some kind of weekly standard and include the time spent on DVD spelling, typing, math, or other programs like history in that time? What about time spent using the web for research or word processing on the computer? What about Wii Fit or Wii Sport?

Actually, I was so happy when the power went out . If only we had had heat, it would have been perfect. No technology to wrestle with!

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