In September 2014, parents at the Waldorf School of Atlanta began a Media-Lite Living initiative. The WSA Family Handbook holds recommendations about limiting media. This initiative is designed to support parents on this road. We are archiving the articles, stories and testimonials from this initiative on the WSA blog. School Year 2015-16 articles will be listed here.
From a WSA parent, on her family’s journey of living media-lite.
A couple of weeks ago I was asked to edit and resubmit something I wrote in the Breeze a year ago about my family and media. Many things were dated about the entry and I decided against it. Then it appeared here in the Breeze anyway. I’ve been encouraged to provide a Part II.
A year later we still struggle and celebrate keeping our children’s media to a minimum. The effort is often messy and I’m tempted to change the subject even as I write this.
While I wonder if we can claim liteness in our media, my near-six-year-old whooshes by, pretending to surf away from sharks. Why does that boogie board feature the larger-than-life Looney Tunes’ Tazmanian Devil?
There’s the hawk-sized Buzz Lightyear who keeps reappearing from the bag of toys set aside for the cousins. Not aside exactly; he keeps falling with style from the closet shelf. He twirls and speaks Spanish and cracks up my kids. In Toy Story, he grins in earnest at us. He’s so caught up in his own commercial hype that he’s crushed to learn he’s only a toy and not a real space ranger. But his original belief that he can fly is what saves him and his band of once-washed up toys in the end. Childhood imagination trumps limitations. I better put Buzz in the shed.
So what’s working? How do we keep their brains fluid and less media-mushed? Chores, longer baths, Uno, new costume stuff and my mom’s kiln in the mountains help.
Expecting these guys to do anything they can do for themselves keeps them busy. A late bloomer in general, I didn’t grasp this until recently. Early to bed, early to rise has also caused an unexpected shift around here. Seismic, really. Now they have plenty of time to pick out clothes, make beds, help with breakfast and pack one public school backpack and one Waldorf basket – things we rushed to do for them a year ago. With these new abilities at work throughout the day, they have less time to whine about what media they’re missing.
I wish I did more to encourage crafting, game inventing, fort building but I’m busy so why dwell.
It’s Warbird Weekend at Peachtree-DeKalb Airport. Come out, maybe we’ll see you there. They’re taking people up in the old planes and we’re hoping to fly over our house.
New perspectives indeed, space rangers.