On Wednesday, October 9th, over 75 teachers, parents and visitors viewed the film documentary, Consuming Kids. For those families who were unable to attend, click here to view the documentary online.
Following the viewing, parents worked in small discussion groups to brainstorm solutions and strategies and we wanted to share the inspired conversations with you. The groups and their responses are listed below.
#1 Is the "Nag Factor" part of your life? How do you handle arguing with your child over buying and wanting?
The overwhelming response from parents was, yes, the “Nag Factor” is a reality in their lives.
Ways to combat arguing over buying and wanting:
- Isolate your child in the midst of a tantrum
- Try to comfort your child
- Engage your child using eye contact
Ways to avoid the "Nag Factor"
- Avoid shopping
- Redirection; change environment, bring child outside
#2 How do we prepare our children now, to face a future where you are told you need something outside of yourself to be complete or happy - that you are not “good enough” if you don’t have certain material things or don’t think a certain way?
- Cultivate family unity - family culture. What your family values and holds dear.
- Cultivate self esteem
- Find supportive friends
- Become an active role model
- Try not to overreact
- A sense of humor can be very helpful
- Creating traditions and memories
- Share this information with others
- Sacrifice (continue to) for education and for media free childhood
- Teach children the understanding of what REAL is
- Structure friendships around those with like values
- Instill in your child decision making skills and confidence
- Become involved as a family in charity, volunteering
- Develop empathy and mindfulness, model those attributes for your children
- Demonstrate a respect for others
#3 How do you create a home life which allows for the protection of childhood and a recognition of the rites of passage when there is an all out push to squeeze out childhood with children getting older, younger?
- Send your child to a Waldorf School
- Turn off all screens
- Encourage age appropriate sports and outdoor activities
- Celebrate seasons and festivals as a family
- Be a model to your children - as a "non consumer"
- Selecting age appropriate toys which allow for open ended creative play
- Purchase fewer toys, aim for simplicity
- Putting phones away when children are present
#4 How do you bring healthy gender images to your children(recognizing the differences and meeting the needs of both boy and girls), in the face of the onslaught of sex and violence in mainstream media and society?
- Limit media exposure
- Be good parental role models
- Demonstrate for your children gender neutral tasks and chores i.e.., cooking, cleaning, gardening, painting
- Buy toys for your children that they can play with regardless of gender, kitchen toys, dolls, tools
- Model good communication, be careful of verbiage.
- Model behavior
- Validate your child’s interests, be nonjudgemental
- When it is age appropriate educate your child about the underlaying messages of commercials
- Help your children discern between fact and fiction in media
- Help your child engage in healthier relationships
- Understand and respect the physical nature of boys
- Find stories that focus on the heart
- Demonstrate how much you value compassion and empathy
- Become conscious of your own feelings about gender roles
- Choose an environment like Waldorf that protects childhood
- Teach young children to cherish their bodies
- Model a healthy respect for our bodies
- Monitor suggestive costumes and clothing
- Be aware of media driven stereotypical gender images