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media overload

Wednesday, August 11, 2010
My kids are small.
I'd like to think I'm not
"out of the loop"
but seriously sometimes I'm pretty sure I am.
And sometimes I'm really glad I am.

Where is this going?
The other day I got a big envelope in the mail
from American Baby.
I don't know who told all these companies
that I was pregnant but I get things for
cord blood banking, new baby stuff, etc all the time
and I didn't sign up for anything.


Inside the American Baby envelope were lots of coupons
some which are useful and many which made it straight into the trash.
One thing caught my eye.
It was a rather large magazine type brochure from a toy company
(which will remain nameless but starts with F-P).
I was taken aback by the toys for babies.
This is why I say I'm out of the loop.
I haven't bought baby toys for almost 4 years
(Micah used all of Naomi's toys)
and I don't plan on buying any more baby toys.

But it was ridiculous,
flashing lights,
music that plays for 20 minutes,
remote controls so parents can turn the music on again without disturbing baby,
crib side attachments that project images on the ceiling,
toys that move, shake, rattle and roll.
Seriously what happened to letting a kid use their imagination?

I am NOT a big fan of toys with batteries.
Yes, there are an occasional few that I enjoy but not many.
I'd much rather my kids play with wooden toys,
felt toys, barbies, dolls, cars, trains,
things that don't talk back
make noise,
or move on their own,
you know stationary, quiet toys.

This catalog had different toys for every stage of a babies development.
Seriously do they want peoples houses looking like Toys R Us?
Because that's what my house already looks like
and we haven't bought 1/4 of the toys we have
and we don't have toys for each stage.
Can you imagine?

Babies really don't need all the lights and music.
They'd much rather hear their parents voices singing to them.
They'd much rather look at brightly colored books
and hear stories read or told to them.
They don't need TV or special videos to help their brains develop,
they need mom and dad, sisters and brothers.

Okay, I don't know where all this is coming from.
I guess I was just floored by the amount of "media"
that is put in front of kids at such a young age.

I'm guilty, don't sit here reading this thinking my kids
never watch tv and that we don't own a single toy with batteries.
But I think there are safe, good boundaries that need to be instilled.

I will admit my son is a TV junkie.
The first thing he says in the morning is "tb on"
and many times we indulge him.
But detox needs to happen
and gradually everyday "tb on" is becoming a lot less.

I guess its just that the catalog was meant for small children, babies even...
and I just wish that companies would get back to the good ol toys
that made kids use their imagination more.
I know there are companies out there that DO this and I applaud them,
maybe I just need to start looking for their catalogs instead.

I do NOT intend this post to put down any parent
who buys these kinds of toys or videos.
I simple am stating what is true in my mind
and in my home.
Whatever works for you works for you.
I just really want to get to a more simple way of life,
and toys with batteries do not spell simple for me.

Okay, sorry for the totally random soapbox.
Now back to your regularly scheduled blog reading...
Catherine Piepenbrink said...

So true, Jamie! Imagination and creativity at an early age is synonymous with intelligence in the future. Yea for toys that encourage imaginative and pretend play! That's how they really learn!

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