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Showcase Sunday: The unnatural child


2 months ago7 min read

The other day I was speaking separately with a couple of clients about raising kids who have children around the same age as my own. I am careful these days in how I approach these kinds of conversations as people take any variation from their own path as criticism. With one client, I mentioned that I do not know if it will be a benefit or drawback for my child, but I believe that erring on the side of real skill development rather than what I consider passive consumption of digital media is better than worse.

I think that there are fundamental skills that have to be learned as a child to have a strong command of, much like learning a mother tongue can't be done as an adult. I think that these factors will affect the physiology of the brain and become support networks for future learning to leverage. I could be wrong.

This is a post I wrote from over two years ago in 2017. Do you think my opinions have changed?

The unnatural child

In some parts of the world to this day, there is a practice of mutilating female children by binding their feet so that they stay small. I don't think anyone reading this will agree with the practice but, I certainly do not. This level of cruelty and torture is disgusting and those that perform it have no defense in my opinion.

Imagine a child being mutilated so they can never have the chance to reach their potential, they can never fully explore the gifts they have been granted at birth as their growth has been stunted by their parents for some strange cultural or societal norm. Would you condone such actions and support the parents to maintain their behaviors? Probably not.

Raising a child can be quite demanding work as children are curious and notoriously unwilling to sit still and do what they are told. They want to explore the world in which they live and if given the freedom, will get themselves into all sorts of trouble as they run, climb and jump all over the place.

When they are quiet though, that is when you know they are up to something they shouldn't be. It is then that you start to pay attention and you will find them tasting the dog's food or applying lipstick to a wall somewhere. Essentially, it can be hard to get a free moment as a parent as children are only still when they are concentrating on doing something. Well, this was true once upon a time.

Now of course, children are increasingly spending more and more of their time still except they aren't doing, they are consuming. They are sitting watching TV, on a tablet or phone and they can happily sit in the same position for hours on end, if given the opportunity. This is unnatural behavior for a child and is likely going to have impacts on their future potential.

But, while they are there consuming an engineered diet, designed to lead them through an engineered environment with limited mental nutritional content, parents can get the cleaning done, or catch up on emails or Facebook. For many children these days, the parents could take off for a few hours and be almost guaranteed that when they come home, the child would be in the exact same spot, glued to a a world of color, action and sound that draws them in like crack cocaine.

The media diet they consume means that there is no need for an imagination, nothing to explore, no reason to even think as it has been designed to be a complete meal to engage a mind that has not yet developed. To me, this is akin to binding a child's feet except, it is restricting their minds, their creativity, their ability to critically think and solve.

For the majority of us though, we were not raised entirely by an electronic babysitter, and for many of us, a lot of the technology was only introduced when we were teenagers. The formative years were much more analogue than they are today which gives us a view that 'since we are alright, they will be' but, look at the state of the current world.

We enjoy the highest standards of living and life expectancy humanity has ever seen yet, we continually fail to use our resources efficiently and effectively to solve problems that should have already been solved. If we can't solve these problems, how are children who have been raised as non-creative consumers going to solve them?

Perhaps I take all of this too seriously as after all, life borders on the absurd more than the meaningful but, I can't help but think that we are damaging a child's potential by setting them up to quietly absorb mass entertainment. I see them in the shopping trolleys and at the cafe's, in prams and at the bus stop all staring at screens, their eyes consuming, their minds being consumed, while the parents can have some peace and quiet.

Yes, there will be some good surprises that come from the practice as there always is but overall, does this consumption add enough useful value to the children. Remember, they have no choice in this at all, it is not they who turns on the television, or unlocks the phone, it is not they who demands themselves to be quiet and it is not they who put all of this in front of them in the first place.

It is easy to look at the teenagers and their obsession with technology and all manner of entertainment and a range of behaviors that not so long ago, would have been seen as troublesome. But, they have been raised and often pushed toward an addiction from a young age as it was convenient, it was easy for the parents. Like the fast-food that fills their stomachs.

From my view, we are creating cows to be milked, we are creating the pool of resources for the minority to control. Cattle to be farmed and managed to maximize profit and obedience. We all want our children to have a good life, at least we know they will be well fed. What they are fed will be another question entirely.

Who knows where it will all lead but for me, I will sit there on the floor with my daughter and build Duplos, read books, pick up 120 little wooden blocks 10 times a day and chase her around the house as she gets up to mischief. I hope it is a very, very long time if ever, before I know I will always find her sitting in front of a screen.

I want her to explore the world, not sit still. Sitting still is harmful for an adult and unnatural for a child. Let's see what happens.

[ a Steem original ]

To note and bring some more awareness: 10% of the rewards of this post will go to @sbdpotato as part of the @ocd beneficiaries experiment. The "ocd community" is found under the #hive-174578 tag and you can join through the Beta site,



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