Wednesday, March 5, 2008

A Child's Environment: No TV in the Bedroom!

A key part of the Montessori method is the environment we provide for children, both at home and in the classroom. While child-sized furniture and a touchable home (meaning few or no items that require "Don't touch!") are staples of the concept, issues such as television in the bedroom are even more important. Just to get this straight, no television in your child's bedroom!

There is a pithy article by Tara Parker-Pope (March 4, 2008, NY Times online) with a few excellent discussions of data to back this up with scientific findings. Should Children Have Television in Their Bedrooms?

If television watching is an important staple of your home life, reap the benefits by making it family time...and remember to comment cynically on things onscreen that deserve it. Teaching your child how to manage his or her television time can best be shown by example. Watch your favorite family program or the news, look at your watch, and announce that the television has been on long enough!

Television also keeps the brain awake, so it is detrimental to your efforts to help calm your child before he or she reaches that magical bedtime hour. Even if everyone has been watching television, you can show your child how to wind down with a pre-bedtime hour of reading and a bath.

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