Kids become what they do

April 23, 2013 § 2 Comments

If you’ve participated in a Saving Sailing town-call, you’ll recall talking about how sailing (and other important outdoor experiences) suffer under the media avalanche that buries most kids. Of course, the problem transcends sailing. Schools, family and neighborhoods have been crushed too.

I’ve started a new blog called FamilyNeighborhoodSchool.com to study the problem and discuss solutions. I hope you’ll follow it too.

 – Nicholas Hayes, Author of Saving Sailing

Have you ever witnessed a kid fast forward through the previews on a rented DVD, or call out Britney Spears swigging a Pepsi as a ploy to get you to consume more corn syrup? Not all kids know advertising to be propaganda, but taking the lead from an adult, some do. Credit the young mind with the ability to grasp symbols and metaphor and see through distortion or exaggeration. When abstract thinking develops, bright colors and catchy music might still attract attention, but a kid can understand that it might be toward something being sold. Kids are smart.

To be clear, advertising messages do shape public opinion, especially those of the impressionable or the emotional. But like emotions, messages and public opinion are fleeting; they are just words, pictures, and fads that fade or shift with time. The impressionable grow up. The emotional find new cares.

Measured in durability over years, messages pale in comparison with experiences in defining who we are, what we believe, and how we act throughout our lives.

Kids don’t become what they see on TV or the Internet. They become what they do. Read more.

Kids and video games

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§ 2 Responses to Kids become what they do

  • Michael Robinson says:

    Hi Nick,

    I have been introduced to your writings following a discussion I had in a pub with one Dave Hudson (Doyen of South African sailing) just before the last Cape to Rio race.

    If ever you wanted to see how your writings are received in far away places, here is an example taken from an email that I received from Dave:
    “On a different subject, I wonder if you remember our conversation in Forries the Pub shortly before your epic Cape to Rio race? You were telling me how powerful you believe mentorship to be, and I fully agreed with you. I’ve thought of that conversation a number of times over the past couple of years, and was interest to see a similar view expressed, equally strongly, in a book I read while in Canada. It’s called “Saving Sailing”, written by a keen sailor Nicholas Hayes.

    He sets out to explain the drop off in popularity of sailing in the USA over the past couple of decades, and then proposes a solution. He argues that mentorship and family participation are at the heart of both unlocking the many benefits the sport offers and at the same time reversing the downward trend. I couldn’t help thinking of the Robinson family as I read the book. You may well have come across it, but if not let me know and I’ll send it up to you. I’m sure you’ll enjoy it.”

    If you are interested, I would be happy to send you a bit of burble on a family trip to Rio undertaken recently. Our experience underlines the principles that you espouse.

    If interested, start by looking at:
    http://www.teamciaobella.blogspot.com

  • ndhayes says:

    Hello Michael,
    Thanks for the message and the blog. I’ll follow the Team Ciao Bella blog and try to catch up with the adventure!
    Warm regards from the middle US.
    Nick

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