As the electronic media invades our lives, it's easy to get lost.
I see my son and wonder how the TV he watches (Dora the Explorer, Little Einsteins, Go Diego Go, Veggie Tales) is really affecting him. There are so many studies by 'experts' that the water is murky and clouded. I know that he loves watching anything with Fun characters and music. He dances and jumps around and it's entertaining to watch him. At the same time, I wonder if it's too much too soon. Too much stimulation ...
I'm sure my parents said the same thing about whatever advancements there were when I was a kid.
I know that there's always gotta be a scapegoat for things. Some kind of explanation for why kids behave the way they do. It's the way adults think. It's comforting to be able to explain something and if you cant explain it... well thats just unacceptable because everything has an explanation. Kids these days are into video games so that must be the problem. When I was a kid, it was TV or Role Playing Games like D&D. My parents? I believe the problem was Rock and Roll music. Their parents? Big band music I suppose. Too sexy by far...
Dont get me wrong , these days there's more access to ideas and materials to act on ideas than ever before. There's the constant! Kids can be trusted to pretty much do one thing.... Experiment! Without reason, they will try something because it is there. Thats it, the only reason... its there right in front of them. In the back of their heads are the echos of their parents (if they have them) mumbling something, but curiousity will win most of the time. Actually, personality will win. Not all kids are the same. There are a million books out there on how to raise your kids, and there can be a million more written because there are millions of kids and they're all different. One will act badly because of TV, one will act good because of TV, one will be shy, one outgoing, etc etc.
There are few 'truths' that I've heard out there that can be applied to all children. One is that they are little people and the very idea of growing up is that they do indeed grow up. As a parent I have the responsibility to try and instill values and teach that there are consequences to actions because there are... The value teaching has to be done early while they'll still listen, after they reach sentience (probably between 8 and 12) it's nothing but action = consequence. As they learn I transfer responsibilities for their own lives onto them and hopefully they do alright.
I've certainly made a lot of mistakes and I'm sure my kid(s) will learn from some and repeat others no matter what I say or do. I learned the same way and though some were painfull... thats life.