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. Posts from the 2015-16 school year are found here.
1. The following quote from our WSA Grade Three teacher may have you think twice about taking your child/ren to an upcoming holiday movie:
All the movies this year and decades before are derived from stories that children will find in books already on the shelves in their homes. Why not go to the source in myth and fairy tales? Read the stories out loud, act them out, and allow children to become whatever each character is in their imagination, not the character one movie shows to millions of children.
That’s the joy of storytelling-unlocking the story in a child’s mind and making it special.
The world of books and stories feed our children’s powerful imaginations. They ‘make the story their own.’ That may be a rare opportunity these days to allow them to create their own unique image of a character. Do we really want them to hold in their mind’s eye the same character that millions of children are shown?
2. Parent Share
I felt especially inspired to have a go at having a media free day with my daughter, Zsofika, after attending the Living Media Lite Throughout the Holidays Workshop this past Monday. My daughter and I, along with a few other friends, had a very memorable day visiting a bakery where we played a board game and ate gingerbread, and then went on a long neighborhood walk to a hidden park in Inman Park where we played until sunset! Such a memorable day. The other parents and I had a wonderful discussion about exploring what the holidays mean to us, how we want to create holiday rituals for our children, and how we can really empower and support one another during the holidays and beyond to live more media-lite. As a parent, I find it challenging to be exclusively 100% media free. However, I am ready to stretch our comfort zones and get creative about how we spend our time together as a family and with our friends. What this means to me as a parent is that I get to be alongside my daughter in her endless enthusiasm for being outside in nature playing with her friends, an opportunity to respond to each day more spontaneously, and being open to what is on offer in our Atlanta community. Being less inclined to automate our daily schedule with a thirty minute television show every afternoon is my new goal. Attending the workshop with Sara and Emily helped me to realize how much support from other parents is necessary for me to creatively re-frame our day with other activities. All in all, I would like to be more connected to other parents on my parenting journey, and learn what works well for their families. The workshop was an eye opener and a game changer for us. Making progress day by day. Many thanks!
-Amycla Webb, Media Lite Living workshop participant