As promised, here is part 2 of Bryony Rheam’s Speech Night presentation.
“You don’t have to feel you need to go home and sell off the television set. What you do need to do, is monitor how much time your child spends in front of the TV and the content of what they are watching. Channels like CBeebies are great, channels like Cartoon Network aren’t so great, but whatever the channel – limit it. Make sure your child does not fall asleep in front of the television. And also make sure the TV is only on when someone is watching it. I have been to many homes, where the TV is on in the background from the time you wake up in the morning till the time you go to bed, even if no one is there. The danger with this is that it does not encourage listening skills and has been blamed for the increase in ADD and other behavioural difficulties. Children who are subjected to a lot of noise, learn to cut it out. And, believe you me, they include you in that noise! We personally don’t subscribe to DSTV because we believe it is a waste of time and money (apologies if there is anybody from DSTV here tonight!) We do watch dvds though, the benefit being that we are sitting down to watch a particular film; we are not just dipping in and out of a continuous loop which repeats itself so much that it doesn’t matter if you have not watched all of it the first, second or even ninth time. Do not be tempted to put a TV in your child’s room. Children need quiet time and a quiet room in which to sleep. They also need to wind down after a day’s activities, not be hyped up by TV which is very stimulating.
If you are an avid reader, share that love with your children; don’t take the ‘why don’t you read’ approach. Show them how to love reading. It is very important for boys especially to see their fathers read. And fathers should also be encouraged as much as possible to read to their children as well. Buy your children books. Make them feel books are special. Show them how to hold them and turn the pages. Don’t make them feel that books are second to television or a computer game.I’m so glad to see that Whitestone is still giving out books tonight as prizes rather than just a certificate which happens in so many other schools now. Some parents feel they have to buy all the classics for their children as this is ‘good’ reading matter. However, it’s more important that a child enjoys what is being read to them and doesn’t find it boring. Reading to your children must not be seen as a chore. You are teaching them to LOVE something!
Today our lives are faster, more hurried, more stressful than thirty years ago. Wasn’t life so much easier when we drank coffee rather than mocchacino? When you didn’t even think of leaving the country to go on holiday? When we only had one T.V. channel? Go home. Spend time with your children. Share your life with them, the life that as we all know goes by too fast. Put your children at the top of your list of priorities, not things. One day, you will be old, your children will have left home and have their own families. What will your children remember about you? Will they be glad that they always had an up to date phone, or will they recall the time you spent with them? Now is the time to think about that. Remember – they get to choose which nursing home you go into.”