Distract the Child with the Shallow and Unreal or The Kingdom of Noise subtitle speaks volumes, but I learned about these vices from my parents, not from reading books or poetry. I tried to model and teach the counter habits to my children in an effort to combat the ill effects of a life lacking discipline.
What are they?
Learning to be quiet.
Learning to to sit still.
Developing right relationships.
Exercising self control with TV, radio, etc.
My favorite quote from this chapter has many applications.
Television doesn't merely spend the time, it spoils the time it doesn't spend.Just insert a different media (or person/celebrity) for the word *television* and you can cover the gamut of popular electronic devices (and riff raff) that comprise the Kingdom of Noise.
But that's not new.
Here's a link to a poem written in 1948 by Phyllis McGinley who decries the demise of the dinner hour ~
a perfect segue another pet peeve: hopping up and down from the dinner table.
If a youngster cant sit still for a 30-minute family meal, then I take note. But I doubt that anyone reading my blog has that problem, since all y'all's offspring sit still for church, circle time, and car rides.
But can s/he be quiet and listen?
My mother continues to have occasion to remind me of these good habits. I admit to being a poor listener and do try and withhold my opinions and hear what the other people has to say first. But it continues to be an effort. I have created more problems for myself by forgetting that God gave me two ears and one mouth..... for a reason!
When my children were very young, just going to church provided an opportunity to practice what I was preaching at home. Our congregation favors family worship, encouraging us to keep our babies, toddlers, and young with parents during the service, albeit on the back row - close to the door ;-) So, in that space of time, we practiced silence, hands folded in lap, keeping still, using our ears, and facing forward. Thankfully, our church is small enough that the preacher is not projected onto a screen, imitating television. The habits there formed have translated well as our children matured.
Finally, the habit of developing right relationships continues to be an area where we can advise our children. It covers a lifetime and I truly approve of Esolen's perspective here. Family connections trump social associations on many fronts, and certainly long term. Here's a link to the first article I ever read by Esolen: Dozens of Cousins. Family reunions are high on my list of important events. These people are mysterious portals. Don't be afraid to walk through.
Lastly, I leave you with a challenge.
Here's a link to Anthony Esolen's contact information.
His birthday is Friday, March 18th.
He'll be 52.
Make a connection.
Bonus Link to DD#1's recent voice recital ~