I spend a lot of time reading. For the most part it is non-fiction based about child rearing or education or healthy living, but I’m coming to the conclusion that every time I’ve found something I think makes a lot of sense or is applicable to my life and/or beliefs, there is a follow up article that “debunks” what I just read.
As a parent, I find this aggravating. I only want to do what is best for my girls, but it seems like every decision a parent makes, there is a study or organization or condescending peer suggesting the opposite. The most recent discussion has centred on the amount of screen time a child has over the course of the day. Now, I definitely believe that kids should have a variety of activities over the course of the day, but I am not impressed with the amount of fear-mongering that has accompanied this recommendation. I actually have been experiencing some anxiety about the amount of screen time in which my three year old engages. Today, however, I vowed to stop fretting. My child gets a variety of stimulation through crafting, reading, drawing, tracing, dancing, singing, running, jumping, petting the dog, helping me bake or clean and of course playing with her younger sister, that I shouldn’t be experiencing anxiety.
It just makes me wonder… Do we have too much access to information? Are we bombarded by the same stories over and over again until it causes anxiety? How do we as educators and/or parents help our students/children deal with such an overwhelming amount of information?
It also makes me question the concept of studies at all. Take Gardner’s multiple intelligences, for example. It is education 101 in teachers’ colleges, but has been questioned and “debunked” recently. I think that much of what we have learned from allowing people to express themselves in whatever fashion they find most comfortable is crucial but I also think that what works one day, might be different the next. I don’t know if you can pigeon hole people into a certain category but what it has done is make others consider and celebrate the differences of those around us. To me, that’s the important detail- not that we have 10 kinethestic learners in our class of 20 students. It just makes me think- do we really need “studies” that promote fear? Why can’t we just have people learning and sharing their observations then allow people to make their own informed decision without the condescension and anxiety?