Our kids are 5 and 6 (almost 7) years old and are quite possibly very sheltered children. And I’m glad about it.
In today’s world of technology and instant gratification, our children have a deliberately limited experience with things…..
They have only ever watched ABCkids (ch22) on TV. Shows like Peppa Pig, Playschool, Ben & Holly, Dinosaur Train etc have been chosen by the TV station for their simple themes and I applaud them for their decisions. When the kids were younger, it was the most appropriate station for them, now it’s a choice we make to not expose them to the other channels available on free-to-air TV. While some of the programs would be great for the kids, there are many others on the same channel that are still too old for our children. I’m happy to keep them with something slightly too young than allowing something too old to negatively influence them.
Recently a friend came for a visit and while the kids were watching ABCkids he said to Megan and Alex, “This is for babies!” and promptly told them about other channels. These other stations have toy and fast food adverts too, which I had never noticed that ABCkids didn’t. That opens up a whole new topic of advertising directed straight at children too. Our kids loved the newness of the recently discovered shows. Luckily they haven’t turned those TV stations on again, but it won’t be long before something like that happens again.
We don’t have an Xbox or a Wii or a PlayStation, and while I lament the hand-eye-coordination and problem solving skills that the kids are missing out on, I’m glad they aren’t exposed to the myriad of shooting/killing/hurting games that many of their peers have played. I know there are more innocent games available, but I am also glad that the kids haven’t experienced the pull and addiction that these games can create.
As a teacher, I can always tell which kids have much older brothers and sisters simply by the language they use (often crude) and their attitudes and values. While these traits may not be desirable in the teenagers, they are way more age appropriate in a 15yr old rather than in 5yr olds. A girl with teenage sisters wears leather-look hot pants and a midriff top to a party, while Megan chooses to wear a Tshirt with fairies or Quees Elsa on it. I know which one I’m more comfortable seeing on a little girl!
Sheltered? Yep, probably. But instead my kids can create an entire world out of a cardboard box. They draw and build, they imagine, and talk and negotiate (badly) with each other about things relevant to a 5 & 6 year old. The world of body image, Facebook and peer pressure is held at bay by keeping them in childhood rather than rushing them too soon into adolescence.
I’d love to know what you think? Are my kids too sheltered, or do you agree with our decisions?