The end of each chapter in "Taking Back Childhood" (Hudson Street Press) contains a section titled "Steps You Can Take." Here are few samples: "Take the time to observe your child and think about how he or she sees things. . . . Try to suspend your own viewpoint, expectations, and desires and tune in to what their goals and needs are." "When your child is fascinated with a single-purpose toy, try to introduce a more open-ended material such as play dough or building blocks to use along with it. . . . For example, if your little girl is playing with the Doctor Barbie doll, you could say, 'Maybe you could build a hospital with these blocks.' " "Keep your children's screen time to a minimum. . . . In my own house, I cover our TV with a piece of fabric and I'm always surprised at how infrequently my grandkids ask to watch it when it's covered. When they do ask to watch a show or video, we talk about it and decide to take off the fabric so we can do that. This makes our viewing a conscious choice rather than a habitual activity." "Point out ads, talk about why they exist, and ask open-ended questions that encourage children to think more about marketing, keeping children's ways of seeing the world in mind." "When considering using electronic toys, games, or screen activities, ask yourself, 'How will this activity affect my child's emotional and social growth?' " "Support children in every way possible to become original thinkers whose caring and compassion for others will gradually expand to include all people everywhere."
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