lunedì, gennaio 08, 2007

There ain't no tits on the radio

Last night I had a dream about teaching Ourson his first word. I won't tell you what it is here, but it was an absolutely lovely word, and three syllables long. He's such a clever baby. We're thinking we may make the nannying thing work. The money seems like it will be okay. And I've been feeling so whiny about child directed products from my job it's probably time I started, you know, trying to be a positive influence on children.

By the way, check out this grossness Jiri uncovered.

I read the new Martin Amis novel this weekend (yes, I did some work on my apps, but I needed lots of rests) and I have a feeling it wasn't that good. I swallowed it whole in about five hours but the older I get the more I realize that's not necessarily a mark of quality. At the moment (bearing in mind I slept excessively poorly last night as I contemplated the possible revolution in my lifestyle) it seems like an artless mash-up of Milan Kundera and Kazuo Ishiguro, which makes it better than Milan Kundera but doesn't give us a reason to not read Kazuo Ishiguro instead. Fortunately, the review isn't wanted until next week so I have some time to make sure I'm not just being cranky.

11 commenti:

Melbine ha detto...

I hope that the nanny thing does work out! So, does the grossness mean that you agree or disagree with the article? I agree with most of it, but Tink has a half hour video (NOT Baby Einstein, which is one big, image-overloaded advertisement; based on the one video we got as a gift) that he loves, gives me a chance to do things like read blogs, and isn't permanently damaging him I don't think. Does this make me a horrible parent??

Mistress La Spliffe ha detto...

Obviously not. What the theme of the article didn't take into account was the comparative lousiness of parents going about their daily business while letting thier child watch a video, and parents going about their daily business while swaddling their child in tight sheets or parking their child in a play-prison.

But I know lots of parents who are excessive in what they think of as their daily business, and how much time is acceptable in terms of parking the kids in front of the video, and what kind of videos are okay.

artemis ha detto...

The stuff about the babies isn't really surprising. I'm sure it isn't making them stupider, but I can't see how a baby can *learn* anything from a video. You know they have videos for cats... something like fish swimming across a screen. Do you think Lexie (sp?) would fall for that?

Mistress La Spliffe ha detto...

It would be worth a try. Right now her favourite toy is a thread tied to the end of a chopstick and she's never shown any interest in television or computer screens, but it would be nice for us too to have fishes in the background.

When we settle down somewhere I want to get real ones too. I like fish. Or maybe frogs in a big terrarium. I like frogs even better. I bet Lexie would like that.

Sugarplum ha detto...

There are some pretty cool frogs in pet shops. I am always tempted to get on for my nephews but my sister might not approve.

My oldest nephew was brougt up on Baby Einstein and is brilliant. I am not saying that Baby Einstein made him brilliant but he can write sentences at age 5. He knows how to write a limited number of words and can read really well. I think this has a lot to do with the fact that my sister is a teacher and she teaches pre-school children with special learning challenges - deaf children but often her students have more than one challenge such as being deaf and a learning disability.

I think that videos can be a learning tool if used correctly. If a parent sits their kid down and plops in a video and goes away on a regular basis then there is little gained from the video. If there is an adult watching who encourages the child to interact with them by using the video as a prompt then it can be good. But you can substitute the video with a book and achieve the same.

I have watched countless Baby Einstein videos and they are clever. They have themes and some are beautifully shot. Baby Van Gogh, for example, shows a colour such as yellow and then goes through a series of beautiful photos of yellow things mostly in nature. The sun, a sunflower, etc. And they are well done and get the point across. But they don't make up for good parenting.

Mistress La Spliffe ha detto...

They might help Ourson, who is already looking for abstract knowledge - I nearly taught him how to say 'banana' over Christmas.

But if I get to work with him and with the parents that he has, who have binned their television, he'll have to learn in non-video ways.

Melbine ha detto...

Sometimes Tink sits in my lap and we watch the video together and sometimes he's sitting in his little car and watching. He has the same expressions on his face either way...the baby videos truly are beautiful, even my Mom finds them very soothing. She's said they should show them in nursing homes to relax people. I admit to enjoying them too. :) I think the main jist of the article is all of the video game and computer interaction in pre-schoolers. And that's a valid point to bring up.

Cats will interact nicely with the television if you have surround sound. Especially if you're watching a bird documentary...

Sugarplum ha detto...

We watched a whale documentary and Charlie got right up there and played with the TV. She loved the calls they were making.

I think you're right, Melbine. The children need to learn how to interact with people more than with technology so as long as there is someone there pointing at the sun on the screen and saying, "What is that?" or asking "What colour is the sun?" if you're using a book, flash cards or a video it works. If it's Dora asking your to push a button then it isn't helping much, is it? A kid can wait to learn how to push a button.

Mistress La Spliffe ha detto...

I should try more birdsong inside.

Sugarplum ha detto...

For Lexie? Hey, maybe that would slow the missile down a bit. I should find a nice one on the internet.

Mistress La Spliffe ha detto...

The birdsong? It might just make him crazier.