DSM: Media and age-appropriateness

From: Melissa D. L. Millman (mayday@MIT.EDU)
Date: Thu Dec 06 2001 - 22:41:05 EST

Hi! I'm new to this list (have been lurking for a little while), and the
recent thread about TV has brought up a lot of questions for me.

As parents, we constantly look out for our children's safety and health (if
we don't, we are neglectful, I suppose), but gradually through the years,
they become capable of looking out for themselves. The "art" of parenting
then comes in the process of paying attention to your child and trying to
figure out when they have this capability for any particular health/safety
issue. It seems to me that there will be some natural variation among
children as to the timing of when they are capable (and when the parents
think they are capable) of judgment about TV viewing and also about other
media such as violent video games. So, what do Sudbury school communities
do about young children (6 and under, I guess) and things like extremely
violent video games, or Internet porn? As a parent, I wouldn't necessarily
feel comfortable letting my young child have free access to those things,
but I do know that at some point my child would be capable of using his
judgment. Just as I wouldn't let my 2-year old have free access to sharp
knives or matches. My opinion is that some kinds of media can actually
cause damage that is unacceptable, if the child is too young.

To put this into the Sudbury context: Does the School Meeting make rules
about young children's level of access? Would the older children and staff
care about "protecting" them?

I'm interested in hearing others opinions, and especially experiences from
Sudbury parents.



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