Keep your Children busy and off the TV – but not because they are a Burden for you! – 20 Apr 15

Parenting

Today I would like to write a bit about an advertising campaign that showed me once more how wrong some people’s attitude towards their children is. Sometimes it feels as though their children are a burden for them!

These thoughts basically started when my wife came to show me an advertisement. She had seen it on her facebook newsfeed several times but had never clicked on it because the headline was not interesting for her: ‘Ever thought: “How can I cut back on my child’s TV time?”’ – and as Apra about never watches TV and only some YouTube videos we select for her, we don’t actually have this issue. She got curious one day though and watched the promotion video.

The idea in itself was a good one: a company monthly sends a box with craft supplies, paint and something to read. A wonderful business idea which also helps parents to be creative with their kids. The product is nothing wrong in my eyes. The advertisement of it is the issue!

In this video, a cartoon mother and father look at their child who is watching TV and a text says ‘You always wanted to get them off the TV…’ but when the mother suggests ‘You wanna take him out and play?’, the father runs away to work saying ‘I’m busy!’ and the mother, in meditation pose, answers ‘So am I’. After some scientific figures and proof that TV watching is bad, there is the solution – this box – and then you see how the mother is blissfully meditating and the father is sleeping.

So the problem that they want to solve is obviously not the children watching TV but the parents wanting to have time for themselves! They know TV is not good but oh, they don’t have time to play with their child! And here is the perfect solution: you get a box full of toys that will keep your child busy so that you have time for yourself!

No, this is not what parenting is supposed to be! If you have a child, you have a responsibility! You know it – otherwise you wouldn’t feel guilty when a video tells you that ‘the age from 3 to 7 is crucial in brain development’, that ‘80% of brain development occurs by the age of 5 – only through active engagement’ and that children who watch too much TV are ‘more likely to become overweight’! You know this all and it makes you feel bad when you look at your child’s daily activities? Make a change!

I am not saying you shouldn’t have time to meditate or work! I am not saying that you have to be with your child every minute of the day! But if you already think of paying for a box of art and craft supplies every month, please sit down with your children and use those items together! It is not only developing their brain and spending their time sensibly, it also creates a bond in between you! Your child will learn so much more if there is a loving individual, a real person next to him or her!

It is sad that such advertisements are being made and that they actually hit home for people! I know you love your children – now don’t be lazy, get up and play with them! Don’t say you are too busy and will do it later – the best years will be over faster than you will even know!

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