Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Environment matters

A young friend spent the afternoon here recently, and I watched her playing with math manipulatives with my children, reading books, and eating fruit for snacks. When I have been in this child's home, I have noticed that she spends her time playing video games and snacking on chips, soda and ice cream. Why does she choose different activities and snacks at our house? Because the available choices are different. Video games and junk food snacks are not available in my home, but books, open-ended toys and manipulatives, and fruit are. My own children, in an environment where videos, electronic games, and junk food are available readily choose these things because they bring instant gratification. If we want our children to make healthier choices for their bodies and minds, we need to carefully consider what choices we are making available to them in their environments.

6 comments:

MaryAnne said...

Excellent point.

Amber said...

Amen.

Breezy Point Mom said...

Amen to that, Paula!

Renee said...

So true!!

Maile said...

Hello! I haven't been checking blogs in over a month and I'm just starting to catch up, so I just learned about the birth of your 4th! Congratulations! It sounds like things went pretty well, although I'll say I'm glad I didn't have to push that long. I think it's amazing you didn't get discouraged. I remember thinking how hard it was and how long it was taking to push Leila out, and it turned out to be only 6 minutes! But it did feel like forever.

I totally agree with this post. From the sound of it, our homes are probably pretty similar in terms of what we do and don't allow. I have had the experience, though, that when other kids come over who aren't used to healthy food or reading books, they have a really hard time and complain about it. It makes me feel sorry for them - how can a kid grow up without loving books? Inconceivable. :)

Amber said...

That is the hard thing about having other kids over. Gavin's friends often complain to me that they're bored because we don't own any video games. It makes me sad for them, but then I also feel a little bad for my children because no one wants to come play at our house because we're boring.