Saturday, 18 August 2012

A class act...

We made a decision not to have a television or access to TV in our house.  It was mainly because we wanted to allow the kids to play instead of watch, to act themselves instead of watching someone else acting.  This decision has had some unusual repercussions.

Firstly, we had no idea that when it came down to it, our kids would not be able to handle adverts.  Those mildly annoying breaks in programming that everyone learns to sit through with patience so that they can get to the real business of watching the programme they actually want to watch.  While we have shown the kids the odd DVD, and movie, they were obviously totally unprepared for something that could interrupt their viewing pleasure at the drop of a hat, and with little or no warning, and be totally unrelated to what was happening before.  When we allowed them to see a movie on television the first time, the ad breaks almost led to tears of frustration and irritation, and repeated calls of "Mama, the DVD is broken again!"

Another outcome that was totally unforeseen took us by surprise the other day.  The boys came home from kindy looking very subdued and visibly upset.  I of course asked what the problem was.  "Liz (head teacher) said some very bad things to Tanya (other kindy teacher)" said Sam.  He was crying by this time, and I was alarmed.  I could only conjecture what the teachers might have been saying to each other in front of the children, because he refused to say any more, and would not let me know what had been said at all.  I approached the teachers concerned with trepidation, not wanting to overstep my place, but because the kids were so unhappy.  Turns out that there was an innocent explanation.  Apparently, some of the children in the kindy had been mean to the others, and had said a few things that the teachers thought needed to be addressed.  In order to do this, the teachers put on an Oscar-winning performance at mat time to show the children what it feels like when opne child calls another names or says that they don't want to play with them.  All the children took it in their stride, apart from my two.  Not having ever been exposed to actual people acting before, like on TV, as opposed to cartoon characters, they were unaware of the fact that people can act, and say and do things that are not real.  Even though I explained it very carefully to them, they were not convinced.  Sam kept on stubbornly repeating "I don't believe she was acting."

It took an intervention on the part of the teachers to finally get him to believe it, and also they had to stage another skit that showed the children how Liz and Tanya were making up, hugging each other and saying they were sorry.

So, pros and cons - is that not just like life?  It can't just be clear-cut, can it?

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