It’s Just Too Much For Them

The amount of choices we have today is not normal. Certainly, it’s quite new. When you were a kid–which was not that long ago–there were how many channels on TV? Even cable, which radically expanded that number, was still finite and nothing compared to streaming. There was no infinite scroll…YouTube only rolled out autoplay at the end of videos in the last decade. And this is only discussing what we watch–there is essentially an unlimited choice in what we listen to, who we date, where we travel, what we eat.

It’s an unimaginable abundance…and ungodly stressful for your kids. It has to be. It’s stressful for you, isn’t it? In a recent episode of the Daily Stoic podcast, the filmmaker Casey Neistat  was talking about how in his family, they’ve taken to watching movies on a big television in their family room or bedroom because the iPads were overwhelming and causing problems. They turn on a movie like Moana and watch it–no changing, no switching, it’s out of their hands and on the wall. You could do the same thing turning on the radio in your car–handing over control to the DJ, submitting to the commercials.

This might not seem like an important practice, but it is. The bigness, the infiniteness of the world is wonderful but oppressive if you’re too young. We can protect our kids from that a little, we can take some of the power out of their hands. In the future, they will have many decisions to make, they will have many options. But for now? Let them have–at least sometimes–a taste of the smaller, more intimate, less overwhelming childhood that you got to experience. Shrink the amount of choices they have to make. Keep things simple.

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