No Hidden Fees: I was not commenting on one child in particular, I was commenting on how children develop in general. Although we are all unique those of us with normal brain development pretty much do it all the same. It is no more a generalization than saying that babies walk before they talk.
The study with the movie, I believe (as I read it a few years ago) was documented in “The Plug-in Drug” by Marie Winn. I really can’t remember the details but is it relevant when most people are showing movies that are way beyond the appropriate age-range to small children? It also doesn’t really matter because unlike a story in a simply illustrated book, movies move at a frenetic speed inappropriate for small children, with frames changing at a pace that they cannot possibly keep up with.
When I said “growth and development cannot occur”, I meant in those moments when the brain is in stress. This is well-documented and also often discussed in reference to the CIO method and how it inhibits brain growth in infants.
It sounds like your dd’s response to that story is an attempt to allay her fears and/or to relate it to real life. If in fact your dd is not able to fully get into a story like that and feels the need to intellectualize it for some reason, perhaps it is not a good story or maybe she is accustomed to being pulled into reality and not being allowed to remain in a fantasy world?
As I said, children do often have precocious behavior. Is this really initiated by the child or has the child been encouraged to do so from a very early age? If in fact it is initiated by the child it does not need to be discouraged, I never said that, but it also does not need to be encouraged.
Dogma? It is a known fact that the brain develops through the senses in these early years.
I never said they should do nothing else. I implied that there are so many activities that are obviously healthy and age-appropriate and TV/games/computers are not.
Children of course have intellectual development before 7. However, the process of the brain’s growth goes from the instinctual (reptilian) and continues on through to the neocortex (which is responsible for intellectual activity). If your child has not fully developed other areas of the brain and you are intent on encouraging development of the neocortex he/she will not be able to fully develop other parts such as the limbic brain (responsible for emotions and feeling). This is why many highly intelligent people that you meet often are somewhat lacking in this department (I’ve met quite a few of those).
Using TV to wind down may seem appropriate as it puts them in a trance-like state.
Do you really think it is important for a 4 yr old to see jungle animals in the wild on a TV screen? How can this serve them? Going to a safari maybe. But if not, then why not focus on her learning things that matter to her like, cooking, building forts, playing by herself. This is what will feed her imagination.
The reason why I say that anything you want your child to learn can be done better in real life is because interaction with a human being is dynamic, engaging, responsive, etc. TV gives none of that! I’m not sure what subjects are so important for you to have a 4 year old learn. Free-play in a world of fantasy is what a 4 yr old should be engaged in. If your dd is asking to be engaged intellectually (again, I feel this is most often initiated by the parents) then read her a fairy tale. If you’re looking to build her intelligence this is important. Einstein said, “If you want your child to be smart, tell him fairy tales, if you want him to be a genius, read him more fairy tales.” (may not be quoted verbatim, it’s just in my head)
I would like to see studies showing the long-term benefits of a 3 or 4 or even 5 yr old playing chess. And when I say benefits I’m not just talking intelligence here. Do you want your child to be highly intelligent but unable to have compassion or self-confidence or be capable of having a light-hearted conversation? Do you want him to be a chess champion but have poor physical balance?
It will be difficult to find such a study because it is very difficult to quantify emotional intelligence or compassion. But talk to and read books written by people who have worked with children their whole lives and maybe you will gain a different perspective.
It is readily apparent to me when children who watch TV interact with my dd. I see and hear the differences clearly. Physically I see the differences. And of course in their play! And these are not heavy-watchers here.
Houdini: Just a few notes because I’m getting tired. I do not ever say that children should be discouraged from learning. What I say is that if they are showing an interest before the appropriate age (6 or 7) then to direct that energy elsewhere. I would encourage other activities. Or respond in with a story or something else that engages their imagination.
My dd is 5 and when she asks me how to write things I show her. I don’t make a big deal out of it. I don’t ever initiate it either. I would like her to stay in a dreamlike fantasy state for as long as she can. She has her whole school career to learn things like writing and reading. For now I enjoy watching her play.
Following a child’s cues are fine as long as you think it is appropriate. If my 5 yr old wants to go outside when it’s 10 degrees with no hat on I don’t let her. She may insist she’s warm but I know better.
How could you possibly be able to explain something to a 3 yr old in the same way you describe it to a 12 yr old. Something can be terribly damaging to a 3 yr old and completely fine for a 12 yr old. I think you need to read up more on child development.
Some other notes:
Brown University’s Mary G. Burke states, “The concerns about VEM (Visual Electronic Media) are
They over-stimulate the visual system, at the expense of other sensory systems
They deprive the child of necessary social interactions that foster self-regulation and contradict the child’s innate ability to recognize the significance of facial affect.
They arouse the child, but in a situation where he lacks the means for appropriate containment of his arousal.
They blunt his capacity for generating symbols and imaginary problem-solving
They interfere with the development of autonomy”
Joseph Chilton Pearce in Magical Child:
“Through interaction, intelligence grows in its ability to interact. We are designed to grow and be strengthened by every event, no matter how mundane or awesome.”
“The child needs to be a child. Forcing upon him adult thought produces a form of premature autonomy, even when that adult thought is cast in terms the child can grasp. Surely we can trick the growing system into walking before crawling, but that young system will reel about drunkenly and crash headlong-to the amazement and heartbreak of those parents so delighted that they had produced a child wonder”
Quoting Jean Piaget:
“For the child play cannot be opposed to reality, because in both cases belief is arbitrary and pretty much destitute of logical reasons. Play is a reality which the child is disposed to believe in when by himself, just as reality is a game at which he is willing to play with the adult and anyone else who believes in it….”
Back to Pearce:
“Just as most children learn to walk and get that out of the way before learning to talk, the biological plan strives to get physical learning accomplished and out of the way so that more abstract learning may take place.”
Some stuff from Neil Postman’s Amusing Ourselves to Death:
On the role of TV in our educational system:
“One is entirely justified in saying that the major educational enterprise now being undertaken in the United States is not happening in our classrooms but in the home, in front of the television set, and under the jurisdiction not of school administrators and teachers but of network executives and entertainers.”
He goes on:
“We may take as a guide here John Dewey’s observation that the content of a lesson is the least important thing about learning. As he wrote in “Experience and Education”: ‘Perhaps the greatest of all pedagogical fallacies it the notion that a person learns only what he is studying at the time…..’ In other words, the most important thing one learns is always something about how one learns. Television educates by teaching children to do what TV-viewing requires of them. And that is as precisely remote from what a classroom requires of them as reading a book is from watching a stage show.”
He goes on:
“…television’s principal contribution to educational philosophy is the idea that teaching and entertaining are inseparable. This entirely original conception is to be found nowhere in educational discourses, from Confucius to Plato to Cicero to Locke to John Dewey.”
Rahima Baldwin in “You are Your Child’s First Teacher” says:
“In Miseducation, Elkind points out that we must constantly remember that young children’s verbal skills far outpace their conceptual knowledge. Because children’s questions sound so mature and sophisticated, we are tempted to answer them at a level of abstraction far beyond their level of comprehension.”
“Because the job of the intellect is to analyze and exercise critical judgment, very bright children tend to have difficulty relating emotionally with other children, a problem that can intensify as the child becomes older.”
Anyway, there is so much more…but I’m tired……..
Oh, this is some stuff I came across online in a cursory search…..http://www.whitedot.org/issue/iss_st...DHD%20Toddlers
TV and ADHD
"In contrast to the way real life unfolds and is experienced by young children, the pace of TV is greatly sped up." says Christakis. His research appears in the April 2004 issue of Pediatrics. Quick scene shifts of video images become "normal," to a baby "when in fact, it’s decidedly not normal or natural." Christakis says. Exposing a baby’s developing brain to videos may over-stimulate it, causing permanent changes in developing neural pathways.
"Also in question is whether the insistent noise of television in the home may interfere with the development of ‘inner speech’ by which a child learns to think through problems and plans and restrain impulsive responding," wrote Jane Healy, psychologist and child brain expert in the magazine’s commentary”http://www.theage.com.au/news/scienc...191629304.html
overall risks of TV
“The report which refers to children and adults, concludes that regardless of the type of programs people watched, even a moderate amount of viewing:
* Dramatically increases the risk of myopia in children;
* Slows children's metabolic rate;
* May trigger premature puberty;
* Leads, from childhood, to a significantly elevated risk of sleep problems in adulthood, causing hormone changes, which in turn directly increase appetite and body fat production and damage the immune system leading to a greater vulnerability to cancer;
* Is a direct cause of obesity and a bigger factor than eating junk food or not doing enough exercise;
* May damage brain-cell development and function in the neural circuits underlying attention and impulse control;
* Significantly increases the risk of abnormal glucose metabolism and new type 2 diabetes.
* Is the only adult pastime from the ages of 20 to 60 positively linked to developing Alzheimer's disease.
* Is a major independent cause of clinical depression (of which Britain has the highest rate in Europe).
Sigman, who is also a member of the Institute of Biology, said the health risks are "the greatest health scandal of our time ... (and) reducing television viewing should be a population health priority.
"Perhaps because television isn't a substance or a visibly risky activity, it has eluded the value judgments that have befallen other health issues," he said.
He said it was "particularly disturbing" that some academics urge caution and warn against the risk of over-reacting.
"What harm could possibly result from preventing very young children from watching television and from reducing the amount of television for those over three years of age?
"There is simply too much at stake not to be responsibly decisive now. In short, there's nothing to be lost by watching less television but a great deal to be lost by continuing to watch as much as we do."
Sigman collated and analysed diverse scientific studies from government agencies across the world, from the Chinese Centre for Disease Control and Prevention to the US Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, The Royal College of Psychiatrists, The American Medical Association, National Academy of Sciences and Harvard and Stanford medical schools.
These studies were combined with first-hand observational data by the author on the effects of television in remote cultures including Bhutan, Tonga, Burma, Laos, Bolivia, Mali, China, Iran, Japan and Vietnam.”
of course your children are wiggling and hopping, they have adrenaline pumping through their veins in full dose and have no reasonable outlet. Our brains are still wired to be out in the plains. Adrenaline makes us want to run or fight and when kids are playing games or watching TV they have no way to truly dispel the energy pumping through them. And to me wiggling and hopping are things I would like to see children initiating of their own accord. This is what leads to greater physical dexterity.
Books have words in them, they inspire imagination. The work of the imagination is to create images or scenarios drawing upon a storehouse of information and experiences, not to REENACT scenes from images in a dire attempt to integrate them into the mind and to understand them in a meaningful way, as is necessary when exposed to TV/computers/video games.
This right here should be enough argument to not show these things to a child who's brain is still in the early stages of develoment.
But for those who feel that intellectual development at the age of 4 is of the highest importance, do you really want your child's brain in a state of stress or busy trying to digest imposing visual images when they could be creating a world of fantasy that will aid in their intellectual capacity??