Monday, August 15, 2005

The Land of Make Believe

Nutmeg plays pretend now. At first, her daddy introduced her to pretending that her Lego Quattros were various things: a fire engine, a cup. She loves to pretend to drink out of the Lego cup, and this morning she asked for a bowl and spoon when I was unloading the dishwasher and proceeded to relish a pretend meal.
Another big game lately: She puts her baby doll in her high chair, and, with help, straps her in, puts on the tray, and provides her with nourishment in the form of Cheerios.

Also, Nutmeg's Uncle Ken is training to run a marathon. He's participating in the Leukemia Lymphoma Society's Team in Training and has to raise $5,100 in order to go to the Honolulu Marathon. Want to donate? Here's his page:
http://www.active.com/donations/fundraise_public.cfm?key=tntiaKKirby

If you donate after reading about it here, let me know, and I will match your gift up to a total of $500. No Mom, I don't mean you.

Oh, a book review: I just finished "The Plug-in Drug" and highly recommend it to other parents. Everyone has heard that TV is bad for kids, but when it comes to specifics, we usually mumble something about the speed of the images coming at kids, or the content -- especially the commercials. This book confirmed my concerns that it's not the content of television that harms kids the most -- it's the process. Written back at the end of the 70s, the book examines the difference between the pre and post-television generations, something that's harder to imagine today that pre-TV "kids" are all collecting senior discounts. I found the interviews with teachers who spanned both generations most revealing. They commented that the TV-raised kids didn't play pretend as much, didn't intiate activities, just sat back and waited for the teacher to provide the content. Of course, study after study finds that kids don't read as much when TV is available. I was surprised to see that it applies even to bright kids who like to read. And perhaps most worrisome, the author believes that children whose free time is filled in by television never learn how to take control of their own time, have stunted inner development, and remain infantalized in many ways.
And this was written before the VCR, Teletubbies, or -- my favorite tool for family avoidance -- the in-car DVD player.
The whole thing firmed my resolve that Nutmeg should not be watching any TV or videos at all, at least until she's in school. I feel bad that she will not get to watch Sesame Street, of which I have such fond memories, during those years. Oh well, Sesame Street is still a gas when you're 6 or 7, or 26 or probably 67, for that matter.

2 comments:

Kori said...

Mike and I got a free moment last night, and as I sat on computer and he sat next to me on the other, I heard him "Awhhh." When I asked him, "What's so sweet?" he replied, "Nutmeg playing pretend."

I agree. So cute.

Keith said...

Give my best to Uncle Ken, good luck with his fundraising, and I hope to see him in Honolulu with all the other TNTers!