What to do if you hate your child’s interest

Published by Lori Pickert on May 30, 2013 at 08:40 AM

Holly made this comment on the sliver post:

[My son] still goes straight for the t.v. as soon as he walks in the door after being out. He still heads straight there as soon as “school-time” is over. Again, my bias gets in the way here, but I start to go crazy! Really, how many episodes of SpongeBob can one person endure?!

I guess the fact that he chooses to spend his time watching t.v. gets me the most. I’ve noticed that a lot of commenters mentioned Minecraft or other strategy-type games. I could probaby get behind that much more so than something as passive as t.v. watching (e.g., SpongeBob!!). I liken it to the parent who constantly provides entertainment for his/her child. In this case, it’s the t.v. constantly providing entertainment and he’s become totally dependent on it.

Just venting here a bit (sorry for that), but I do wonder if you have any advice or wisdom to share?

If you can’t stand the thing that your child is most interested in — or if you can’t see any real value in it — these are my suggestions for things you might think about or try:

- Look at what you WISH he was doing and then build that into your everyday life. Do those things together as a family. (This is the essential message of the sliver post.) Then you know his day contains those elements as well as TV — and it helps him see himself as someone who has more interests, more experences, and more potential.

- Imagine the ways SpongeBob might connect to activities you would be happier about. Would you be happier if he was writing Spongebob stories? Learning animation? Drawing comics? Is Spongebob really the problem, or is the problem that he isn’t oriented toward making and doing?

- Make sure he has the time and the raw materials to make and do. Does he have a workspace and materials? Are they clean and attractive and enticing? Does he have a desk or table in a place he wants to work (not off in a part of the house where he’d be by himself)? Does he have enough free time to watch TV and pursue other interests?

- Start journaling to identify his strong interests and carve out some dedicated project time. This includes SpongeBob and other interests as well. Open up a space in your life that is focused on helping him take those interests further.

- Sit down and watch SpongeBob with him. (You can just watch one episode.) Have him tell you about it. Ask him about his favorite characters and his favorite episodes. Dig into what he likes. The important thing isn’t SpongeBob — the important thing is connecting with your son, letting him see that you care about what he likes, respecting what he enjoys, and letting him know you want to know more about him and what interests him. You’ll also be able to start dissecting his interest and figuring out if there’s something you can help him explore further in a more active way.

- Make sure he has the ability to produce the media he likes to consume. Break his interest down and think about the component parts. Somewhere down the road, he might produce a podcast or a Youtube show. Right now, he might write his own original story or script, make a storyboard, learn how to do animation, make a flip book, draw a comic, put on a puppet show or skit, and so on.

Because everything is connected, it’s difficult to find ANY interest at all that a child has that can’t connect to books, films, community resources, hands-on making and building, websites, experts, writing, programming, and on and on. Roller-coasters connect to physics and design and business. Minecraft connects to programming and city planning and strategy. Spongebob connects to storytelling and animation and art. His interest is a point of entry that you can help him take in many different directions.

It’s easier to see the rich learning potential of an interest like bugs or dinosaurs or the human body. You nod and say, ah, science. I heartily approve. Yes, let’s explore this educational topic. Onward, ho!

It’s not so clear when your child has an interest like princesses or pirates or SpongeBob. You say, er, hmm. Well. Surely you have other things, better things, you want to learn about. Bugs? Anyone interested in studying bugs?

But when you start shutting down interests, you lose the child because he figures out very quickly that it’s not about him. It’s not about what he likes and what he wants to do. He isn’t in control of this time and these resources, and his interests are being judged as unworthy. That’s not a recipe for an excited, self-confident learner.

If you hate what your child likes, he may not understand enough to separate “Mom hates SpongeBob but she might like some other thing I like.” He may think, “The things I like are dumb.” He may just decide to keep his interests to himself. And if he feels like his interests do have value — whether it’s SpongeBob or Minecraft, comic books or Pokémon — and you loudly declare they have no value, then you’ve created a big dead spot where the two of you can’t share, can’t come together, can’t communicate, can’t understand one another. If you stay open to your child, you can approach any interest as a spark that can start a whole new rich line of inquiry. You can say

“Tell me about what you like. Explain that to me. Show me. How does it work? How would you do it?”

and so on.

If you’re open to it, his interest can be a starting point that goes everywhere. If you’re closed to it, then it’s a shut door and he may not take it further on his own, but even if he manages, you’re unlikely to hear much about it.

The most important thing is to take the focus off whatever he’s interested in that you don’t like and instead plow your energy into building up the making, doing, creating, thinking, learning part of your life. If a child is interested in SpongeBob but doesn’t know what to do with that interest other than sit back, get comfy, and watch episode after episode, then that’s what they’re going to do. If you make a space for digging into his interests and exploring different ways to express what he knows, he might draw Spongebob, write Spongebob stories, sew a SpongeBob doll, screen-print a SpongeBob shirt, make SpongeBob stop-motion animations with SpongeBob legos, and on and on.

You see how this works: It’s the bigger context that matters, and that’s what needs to change. Once the elements are in place for a life focused on digging deep, exploring, making, doing, and sharing, any interest will be explored in a meaningful, active way. And when he switches interests, he takes his skills (and his mentor) along with him.

Now, if your child has a lot of interests, you get to pick and choose what to invest in, and it makes sense to support something that you think is worthy of deep, prolonged study. And you may as well steer away from the things that you have a real distaste for. But I like to think that any parent who really gets experience mentoring their child’s self-directed learning will become more and more interested in their child and what they care about. The more you do this, the less likely you are to easily dismiss something they really care about. You’ve discovered how deep and complex learning born out of self-motivation and authentic interest can be. That’s what I think — that’s what I hope!

Stay open to what he cares about and design a life that is focused on the things you care most about. You won’t go wrong.

 

 

Also check out: Video games can actually give you ideas (guest post by my son)

33 comments

Comment by annika on May 30, 2013 at 10:36 AM

This is exactly what I am struggling with right now. My son is a totally passive consumer and I have NO IDEA how to engage with him. I don't dislike his interests but I also don't see him showing any interest in being anything other than passive.

Comment by Lori Pickert on May 30, 2013 at 01:02 PM

hey annika, come sit by me. :)

my younger son has been sneered at multiple times by librarians — first for checking out big stacks of cartoon books (he’s 13 and a talented cartoonist now) and then for checking out stacks of DVDs. he’s been told *multiple* times (by librarians!) “you know we have *books* here, too, right?” so insulting! so patronizing! the kid is a big reader. they don’t ask; they just assume.

i started to rant … i think i was going to make a point about how seemingly passive activities can be favorites with creative types. i know that when i was a kid, my favorite activities were TV, library books, popsicles, and lying on the couch with a fan pointed at me.

do any of these suggestions work for you or do you want to drill into it deeper?

Comment by annika on May 30, 2013 at 03:42 PM

Lying on the couch with the fan pointed at me is one of MY favorite activities!

I'm having a hard time with Sam because he doesn't take his passive interests anywhere else. He watches shows and plays video games, but he's not interested in doing anything related to those shows and games except maybe acting them out with his toys. I am feeling frustrated that he *still* wants to do nothing but be entertained.

I guess I need to take him to the library more. (We stopped going when Grace was a toddler because Sam would just run around-which is frowned upon-and Grace would shriek because she couldn't keep up. Ugh.)

Comment by Lori Pickert on May 30, 2013 at 04:15 PM

 

i would look at that maybe-interest of acting them out with his toys and see where you could take that — it’s a good starting point!

making models .. then making a backdrop .. giving him a camera and/or a videocamera to use (preferably both…)

whatever he DOES like to do, just use that as a starting point. i remember when jack was little and he made a really detailed jedi temple out of cardboard and recyclables to use with his action figures and legos.

Comment by annika on May 31, 2013 at 12:43 PM

Ooh, he does love using my camera! I wish he had his own. I keep giving him old ones and they keep breaking--I need to save up to get him a brand new one!

Comment by Lori Pickert on May 31, 2013 at 01:07 PM

they used to make a fisher-price (i think) digital camera that was virtually unbreakable. i don’t think it was very expensive. it was encased in rubbery plastic!

Comment by Queen of Carrots on May 30, 2013 at 11:12 AM

I can understand the difficulty of seeing the possibilities of Sponge-Bob, but I do think what you are saying here is very helpful. My older daughter had the princess obsession at four or five. Would not have been my pick. As we dug into it, it turned out what she really loved were the dresses. Now, at almost 9, she still checks out stacks of books of historical fashions, designs her own paper dolls, is starting to learn to sew, etc. I can totally see her running her own boutique or something like that as an adult; even if not, it has unlocked worlds of history and literature and art and craft to her.

Comment by Lori Pickert on May 30, 2013 at 01:04 PM

thank you so much — what a great example of an interest that seems a little blerg turning into something great. :)

Comment by Sarah on May 30, 2013 at 11:50 AM

Even when you know this, you don't always remember. I go through periods where I really get that my kids interests aren't as passive as I believe. And then it's like I just forget. I worry and fret for weeks that I'm doing everything wrong. Thank goodness my kids are pretty good at showing me what they are interested in and learning. Sometimes I just need to get out of my own head and actually go talk to them. ;)

Comment by Lori Pickert on May 30, 2013 at 01:05 PM

 

Even when you know this, you don't always remember.

YES — this is SO true. i think it’s because certain interests press our buttons in a particular way.

Sometimes I just need to get out of my own head and actually go talk to them. ;)

perfect advice. :)

Comment by christi10 on May 30, 2013 at 03:55 PM

Amen to that! Delving into a child-led interest like t.v., video games, minecraft, etc. takes a huge leap of faith. I'm exhausted from the battles i repeatedly have with my "little inner voice" over minecraft even when i've experienced the value it can have.

Comment by Lori Pickert on May 30, 2013 at 04:21 PM

 

I'm exhausted from the battles i repeatedly have with my "little inner voice" over minecraft even when i've experienced the value it can have.

such a good point. i was just saying on twitter this afternoon that sometimes i feel my job is to nudge people to confront a little bias or a little prejudice, nudge them a bit out of their comfort zone, encourage them to explore something that they want to dismiss. this never really gets easier! it’s always going to be a touchpoint. there was a post in the forum today about helping ease kids out of their comfort zone — that’s exactly what this is about, but for us. it’s easy to say “yes” to shakespeare or physics or literature. it’s harder to do this other work — but it might be richly rewarding. we’ll only know if we do the work!

Comment by lisahassanscott on May 30, 2013 at 11:51 AM

Hi Lori,
This has been a worthwhile and affirming read for me because it reflects much of what we as a family have been doing and thinking about recently. Since my middle daughter was quite small, she has been attracted to anything related to make-up! I suspect you know by now that I do not wear make-up and I am not what some would call 'trendy'!

My husband and I have given much thought to our daughter's interest in make-up, changing her appearance (one year she asked for a wig for Christmas!) and looking like the teenagers we walk past each day. We have worried that she is being influenced by society's emphasis on outside appearance, that she is being sexualised at an early age, that she is making pop stars her role models.

But then we back-pedalled and thought about her age (7) and what her daily life looks like (lots of family time and emphasis on experiences that enrich) and we decided that our continued evident disapproval of something that is clearly so interesting to her is probably coming across as DISAPPROVAL OF HER. This is not the message we want to send.

So we decided to let her spend some money from grandma on a bit of make up, and sure enough she'd emerge looking like a pantomime drag queen with blue eyeshadow up to her eyebrows... but over time and through discussion of how and why make up is used... and discussion of what we find acceptable and what she's hoping to achieve with it... well, she has come to use it in a way that is merely playful. In respect of our requests, she takes it off when we are about to leave the house, understands why we prefer not to let her use things like mascara, and she actually discusses with us why she likes it.

She has always been a tactile learner-- she loves the feeling of touching sea anemones, raking her fingers through sand and water, rubbing lotions and potions together to see what they do. This is, to me, another way for her to experiment. And, as her violin teacher says, she is a natural performer, and part of this experimentation is about performance and costume and role play.

Ok, so I'm not over the moon that she's so interested in make-up. But our change of approach means that we are now discussing rather than disapproving, exploring each others' needs and limits rather than simply issuing a ban, giving us an opportunity to connect with each other rather than creating an us-and-them attitude. In essence, we are back on the same team.

Lisa xo

Comment by Lori Pickert on May 30, 2013 at 01:09 PM

 

we decided that our continued evident disapproval of something that is clearly so interesting to her is probably coming across as DISAPPROVAL OF HER.

yes. and i KNOW this is not what parents intend at all — and maybe they think they can separate the issues. but i know for a fact that kids hide their interests *and become ashamed of them* because of strong messages they get from their parents. and it’s ultra-confusing when you yourself think it’s fine (the kid who likes minecraft) and they try to blend that with the knowledge that their parents think it’s bad. it’s confusing to them and whether it affects their relationship with their parent or their relationship to something they’re really interested in, either is nonoptimal.

she is a natural performer, and part of this experimentation is about performance and costume and role play.

i know another little girl whose interest in makeup and costumes and etc. was very much related to dramatic play and theatre.

 

our change of approach means that we are now discussing rather than disapproving, exploring each others' needs and limits rather than simply issuing a ban, giving us an opportunity to connect with each other rather than creating an us-and-them attitude. In essence, we are back on the same team.

perfect <3

 

Comment by Liekebaas on May 30, 2013 at 03:23 PM

Hey there,

Thanks for this post and thank you other parents for the insightfull responses. I'm learning a lot!
At this moment my eldest son (now 5) is really showing a huge interest in gaming: computers, I-pads, DS, playstation. anything that has a game on there. Because I have experienced serious gaming addiction from up very very close this is difficult and painfull for me. I'm so afraid to let him explore! but at the same time I don't want to deny him his genuine interest... Right now I have agreements with him wich edge more towards 'the sliver' ;-). I think I have to change that but I struggle.
Also I find it hard to really dive deeper with any of his interest. I know I am going about it 'the spoiling adult kind of way' but don't know how to change and really dive deeper into his gaming and/or superhero's interest. He does not naturally love to draw or build... So thank you for food for tought and if you (or anyone ;-) has any suggestions... you're welcome!

grtz Lieke

Comment by Lori Pickert on May 30, 2013 at 04:27 PM

 

please consider joining the forum! we can help you work through this over time if you like. :) http://project-based-homeschooling.com/forum

interestingly, a friend tweeted today — what if you yourself have a social media addiction, should you still let your kids try social media? my brief (twitter forces brevity ;o) answer was that i think we can’t restrict our kids based on our own struggles. *we* need to learn how to find healthy balance, and *they* need to learn that, too. avoiding the issue doesn’t solve the problem!

so with your previous gaming addiction, you’re actually really well situated to help him experience healthy balance and hopefully learn how to maintain it.

for a child who doesn’t naturally love to draw or build, i would be looking for other ways for him to make, share, create … since he loves screens, maybe you could experiment with a drawing program on the iPad or computer. does he play with legos? there is a great, free online lego digital designer where kids can build huge structures online with unlimited virtual lego.

MIT recently made their kid programming language scratch available free online: http://scratch.mit.edu

and even if he isn’t a big fan of drawing or building *now*, he’s only 5. ;o) he might change his mind if you offer great materials and a fun, relaxed atmosphere to explore them. maybe he would like to make wire sculptures, tape cardboard boxes and recyclables together, sew, weave, carve wood, work with clay … there are a million different ways to express ideas! there’s also dramatic (pretend) play, telling stories, playing music… no limits, really.

Comment by Sarah M on May 30, 2013 at 04:44 PM

Ah, you got it nailed for me...again! This is what I've been thinking about a lot lately, and especially after just finishing your book, what I have been trying to figure out how to apply for us. There are a number of things that my kids have found via netflix that are cringe-worthy to me, but that I've sat down with them and watched, and then they find that character/brand at the library, so we read them, and just this week my littlest asked if we could design a craft (she's a princess/doll/dressup lover) of our own paper dolls and create a background for them. So NOW, weeks later it's paying off with her fully engaged in her work: Drawing 'dolls/princesses' with their gowns that she loves, coloring in lots of details, and making stages & places for them out of blocks. It's SO COOL, and I've had my jaw dropped a few times. She's 4!
I'm thankful for our iphone where we can snap pictures of all these things before she or my son wants to do something else. I sometimes have a really hard time thinking out of the box, but with these posts you've been doing have really helped me see outside of my own boundaries.
Sarah M

Comment by Lori Pickert on May 30, 2013 at 06:34 PM

 

So NOW, weeks later it's paying off with her fully engaged in her work: Drawing 'dolls/princesses' with their gowns that she loves, coloring in lots of details, and making stages & places for them out of blocks. It's SO COOL, and I've had my jaw dropped a few times. She's 4!

yay :)

that is wonderful and good on you for nudging yourself out of your comfort zone! :)

I sometimes have a really hard time thinking out of the box, but with these posts you've been doing have really helped me see outside of my own boundaries.

thank you so much. that makes my day. :)

Comment by HollyPA on May 31, 2013 at 01:42 AM

Thank you so much for this, Lori! You've given some really wonderful suggestions on how to take an interest and run with it. I know this information will benefit me and your readers greatly. I really like how you used a TV show/character to show how much you really can do with it.
I have to say, however, that my issue is not with SpongeBob specifically or the fact that I don't like what my son is interested in. I used that show as an example because it is on several times throughout the day and I have a hard time seeing any benefit to watching the same show 5 times/day. The fact is my son has no particular affinity to SpongeBob (other than watching the show, he has never shown any particular interest) and he watches many other shows as well. Nor do I have a strong dislike of it (I actually think it's pretty funny when I haven't seen it on the screen for 3 hours straight). He's not into drawing, crafting, writing etc., and has shown no interest in taking this any further.
The point that I was trying to make (sorry, too much emphasis on poor SpongeBob took me away from my point) is that I see him becoming more and more passive and sedentary because he's become so accustomed to having something else entertain him.
Something that happened just this afternoon is an example of what I mean. We've designated "free time" from 3:00 until dinner time (around 6 or 7). Today we ended up in the car and running errands for a good portion of the afternoon. As we were coming up to our local park, I asked the kids if they wanted to go. Jasper asked me what time is was. It was 2:30 so he said no, he wanted to be home at 3:00 to watch TV. My daughter really wanted to go so I told them we'd compromise and go for 20 minutes. Not five minutes after we got there he was badgering me about going home and complaining about being "bored". This scenario happens pretty frequently, whether we're at the park, the aquarium, the climbing wall, etc. We try to keep our days fulfilling but he's lost so much interest in other activities that it really makes me wonder if I'm doing the right thing here.
Sorry, I went on and on again, but I just wanted to clarify a little from my previous comment. I hope this makes a little more sense. Thank you again for your attention to this subject.

Comment by Lori Pickert on May 31, 2013 at 07:35 AM

 

my issue is not with SpongeBob specifically or the fact that I don't like what my son is interested in. I used that show as an example because it is on several times throughout the day and I have a hard time seeing any benefit to watching the same show 5 times/day.

that’s good because you know spongebob *rocks*. ;o)

i totally understand what you’re saying and i think that’s a sign that your son is stuck in a holding pattern — and you’re doing the right thing to jigger things up a bit, break the pattern, find something he’s interested in, and etc.! :)

He's not into drawing, crafting, writing etc., and has shown no interest in taking this any further.

couple thoughts of things you might try:

- keep exploring more diverse ways of making and creating (e.g., making a “take-apart” table with old appliances [cut off the cord and plug!] and tools, building with balsa wood and wood glue, carving stamps, typewriter for writing, computer programs for making animations, giant cardboard box and some duct tape)

- do it *with* him — start a family sketchbook, go on sketch or photography walks/hikes, play with clay while watching a movie together

rather than giving up on his ever writing/drawing/making/building anything, keep looking for something that sparks his interest.

I see him becoming more and more passive and sedentary because he's become so accustomed to having something else entertain him.

this is a very popular topic in the forum, usually re: parents expending too much energy occupying kids so that they become passive and wait to be entertained — and the need to break them from that habit. interested people might check out these threads:

http://project-based-homeschooling.com/forums/general-discussion/topic/p...

http://project-based-homeschooling.com/forums/project-based-homeschoolin...

http://project-based-homeschooling.com/forums/preschool/topic/playing-an...

re: his wanting to rush back to the TV and being bored at the park, my advice goes back to what i wrote in the sliver post:

- reorganize your life so you dedicate a chunk of each day to doing the things you think are most important

- give him enough free time so he doesn’t hyper-focus on it

- look for an interest that you can feed and support

- do things *together* that you wish he would do on his own

i think it’s less about taking *away* what you don’t like and instead is about moving *toward* the things you want to prioritize. looking at your schedule for your day and your week, looking for places where you can build in the things you things are most important.

if you want to join the forum, we could hold your hand while you try making some small changes and see what happens. :)

Comment by HollyPA on May 31, 2013 at 11:53 PM

I will. Thanks!

Comment by smiquilina on May 31, 2013 at 11:52 AM

HollyPA - one of my children is *really* into passive screen time as well, and not being an iron-fisted "sliver" mom is something I struggle with. What I'm starting to recognize is that this child of mine is an introvert and requires a lot of alone time/non-stimulating/no interaction time to recharge and feel happy. The more I take her out to the park, museum, or doing activities with the rest of the family at home, the more she craves the tv. I'm been experimenting with going on fewer outings, and making our at home time free of pressure to be "doing something worthwhile"--ie: lots of time for laying on the couch with the fan pointing at her, as Lori said. I'm finding that the more she can get quiet time to be with her thoughts she's starting to be less tethered to the TV. Usually after an hour or two of quiet, lazing time she WILL get up and do something creative of her own choosing. Sometimes it's just hard for me to keep my mouth shut and let her laze. I'm also having to accept the fact that after a full morning out running erands or visiting the park or museum she seems to really NEED a good long TV session to decompress from all that outside-world interaction. Yesterday, like a miracle, she turned the TV off *of her own choosing* to bake muffins and play catch with me in stead!

Comment by Lori Pickert on May 31, 2013 at 12:41 PM

 

What I'm starting to recognize is that this child of mine is an introvert and requires a lot of alone time/non-stimulating/no interaction time to recharge and feel happy. The more I take her out to the park, museum, or doing activities with the rest of the family at home, the more she craves the tv.

this is a fascinating take on this situation — i can definitely see how my childhood love of alone time/reading/tv fits in with my introverted side (i’m am ambivert).

lots of time for laying on the couch with the fan pointing at her, as Lori said

hee

I'm finding that the more she can get quiet time to be with her thoughts she's starting to be less tethered to the TV. Usually after an hour or two of quiet, lazing time she WILL get up and do something creative of her own choosing.

i can really see that a quiet, focused activity like tv or reading could help an introverted person unplug/detach/decompress.

i wonder if you could create a quiet work area for her away from everyone else where she could retreat to fiddle with art supplies, maybe listen to music or a book on headphones, have visual quiet, etc.

Comment by Lisa Clarke on May 31, 2013 at 01:06 PM

When I was a kid, we used to go to the local appliance store and scour for refrigerator boxes. Then I could have all of the introvert decompression time I needed, away from everybody else, in my big box in the back yard :-) Often I'd take my art supplies outside to decorate the box and make it homey, before I'd settle in with a book in there.

Comment by Lori Pickert on May 31, 2013 at 02:00 PM

i think i spent more than half my childhood making forts, which were really just reclusive hermit huts where i could read in peace! ;o)

Comment by smiquilina on May 31, 2013 at 03:11 PM

For sure a quiet work-space is crucial for my daughter, and she has plenty of time and space for that.

I've just found it helpful to recognize tv as a decompression tool for her, along with lazing-on-couch-with-fan, art-fiddling, etc. When I can see that my introvert *needs* to decompress/detach (I'm an introvert as well, so i get that), and i can view tv as a tool in her decompression toolbox, it makes it easier for me to keep 'the sliver' at bay.

Comment by smiquilina on May 31, 2013 at 03:23 PM

The other crucial part of this equation, for us, has been to recognize that trying to "crowd out" tv time by planning lots of fun engaging activities doesn't work, because what seems "engaging" (playing at the park, a trip to the museum, even family-activities at home) to some can be overwhelming for an introvert, which just necessitates more decompression (ie: tv). We've had to "crowd out" the tv addiction with fewer 'engaging' activities, and more time spent at home doing 'nothing'.

Comment by Lori Pickert on May 31, 2013 at 03:30 PM

We've had to "crowd out" the tv addiction with fewer 'engaging' activities, and more time spent at home doing 'nothing'.

again, this is so important — putting more “good stuff” in your life doesn’t mean only one particular kind of activity (in this case, getting out of the house for “active” or “engaging” activities) — you have to take your child’s particular needs & temperament into account always. it’s not about making things oppositional and seeking out the parent’s idea of the opposite of screens; it’s about finding a way to enjoy the important stuff together — and you’ll only enjoy it together if everyone’s feelings are taken into consideration.

thank you so much for your thoughtful comments!

Comment by Lori Pickert on May 31, 2013 at 03:26 PM

it’s such an important part of the puzzle: paying attention to the needs of the individual child and seeing how the activity fits in with her particular needs/temperament/situation. <3

Comment by smiquilina on May 31, 2013 at 04:35 PM

Another point I find helpful to keep in mind for an introvert with an unbalanced hunger for passive media consumption (or perhaps any child with this hunger) is to make sure screen time is not the only time they are being 'left alone'. I think some kids with an active, engaging family life learn that when they are sitting in front of a screen is the only time no one talks to them, which is why it's such an attractive decompression activity. If we can leave them lots of white, creative space that we keep our noses out of unless invited to collaborate or help, perhaps the screens can lose some of their appeal.

Comment by Lori Pickert on May 31, 2013 at 06:35 PM

 

Another point I find helpful to keep in mind for an introvert with an unbalanced hunger for passive media consumption (or perhaps any child with this hunger) is to make sure screen time is not the only time they are being 'left alone'.

that’s exactly the point i was trying to make — to be certain that child has a quiet space where they can do other activities. :)

Comment by 1luckymama on May 31, 2013 at 09:51 PM

holy smokes. i really think you are some kind of genius. this is huge for me. my daughter loves barbie. but maybe i can work with barbie, hmm? thank you!

Comment by Lori Pickert on June 1, 2013 at 07:35 AM

you’re welcome! consider joining the forum — we can bounce ideas around. :) but of course there are a million directions your daughter’s interest could take — sewing and design, building a house or other structure, taking photographs, making books or films… the sky’s the limit!

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