In a consumer driven world it is easy to see how we can get sucked in to the mindset of having to buy more and more for our children. There is a lot of pressure put on parents to aid their child’s development and challenge their cognitive abilities by purchasing the latest all singing, all dancing “educational” toy. And to top it all off, the advertisers have gone to great lengths to sink their claws directly into our little ones, to entice them into desiring their product and to ask for each and every item.
Though just five minutes before they were doing just fine without it, now it is a matter of life and death that they have this particular toy in their hands. Nothing less will do.
And yet, days, if not hours later, the toys all get forgotten, as the children turn their attention to the new enticing adverts for the things they don’t yet have.
It is a dangerous cycle, sending a strong message of consumerism, greed and waste to the mouldable young minds of our children.
But what should we as parents do? We don’t want to stunt their development and deny them learning opportunities, but it is obvious that this rampant consumerism is not working for either parent or child. The children complain that they have nothing to play with whilst surrounded by a room full of toys.
So What Toys Do Children Really Need?
The options available to home educating families are wide and varied, and this can often cause confusion to people who don’t know where to start or which path would suit their family best. In this article I have outlined the three most common strains of home education, to give an idea of what each of them involves.
A while ago I wrote a post about my goal to go a week without watching TV. After the initial build up, I found it surprisingly easy, and although it’s been several months since the challenge, I am still feeling the effects now. I have a few programmes that I enjoy watching, but once they are over, the TV goes off. The whole act of watching TV is much more mindful now. I can no longer cope with watching it for the sake of it, and I don’t enjoy having trash on in the background anymore.
Do you have one of those friends? You know, the kind that comes to visit and spends the entire time checking their phone, texting and “Just taking a quick call.”
I actually had two. One was an old friend, who had her computer permanently on, with facebook up and ready on the screen. When I would visit her, she would be half hearing me, half updating her status’s and replying to messages. My other friend was surgically attached to her phone, constantly looking at it rather than me, and I started to wonder why she even bothered coming round.
It is now 10 days since we unplugged the television from the wall, and still, the plug remains laying on the carpet. The TV table has slowly filled up with other items, so now when I look over at it, the big black square is obscured by a bag of bricks, a pile of books and a few odds and ends which I should probably put away!