Keeping Kids Distracted

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Things that matter most must never be at the mercy of things that matter least. – Van Goethe

Experts say the best time to communicate with children is when you’re involved in activities such as driving, talking a walk, shooting baskets, and yes, even food shopping. Parents look to the outside world to entertain children while they get things done, but by keeping their children busy, parents miss out on the best opportunity to build a relationship with their children.

More importantly, the message to the children is this device, whether it is a TV, tape or DVD, is where you will get your information from. As children get older and the messages come from questionable artists, parents don’t realize that they gave the green light allowing these messages to come through, while children become accustomed to treating the media as the authority.

The newest device is the TV Kart, which displays videos in a small car as parents shop for groceries. Rather than discussing the colors of beautiful fruits and vegetables, counting the number of apples in a bag, or weighing potatoes, parents place children in carts where they are fixed on a licensed cartoon character parading on a screen.

Parents should avoid these carts and engage their young children in conversations about cooking, counting, reading nutrition labels and checking prices.

Have parents traded the opportunity to build relationships with their children in favor of the quick solution of getting tasks done? They are missing the opportunity to teach and learn from the interesting and wonderful person they know, their child.

Don’t let marketers take additional opportunities from getting to know your child. And resist the urge to put the SUV headrest DVD players on – it’s just a short trip home from the market.

Start a conversation with your child.

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