WSVN — For the first seven years of Noa Richard’s life, she never watched one minute of television.
Noa Richard: “At first, it was very normal for me to not have TV in my life and all those electronics.”
Her mother, Dana, raised her under the Waldorf-inspired philosophy, which includes no screens or technology.
Dana Richard: “There’s an age that’s appropriate to introduce screens and it’s usually after the seventh year.”
Dr. Valerie Goode: “The Waldorf philosophy is a very sound philosophy of teaching.”
7’s parenting expert Dr. Valerie Goode says the Waldorf philosophy was developed in 1919. She says the idea is that the parents take a predominant role in the child’s learning experience.
Dr. Valerie Goode: “They read to the child, they tell stories and the child may act out the stories, they sing songs.”
However, these days many parents let TV entertain their children and studies show this can limit their learning. Noa says not watching forced her to use her imagination and create characters from books.
Noa Richard: “I loved imagining things. I’d always dress up and become a character from a far away land.”
Noa says she always felt different from her friends but it really didn’t affect her until the explosion of social media.
Noa Richard: “They were all connected and they would come to school and talk about things and I’m like, ‘What happened?’
At 13, Noa got her first iPhone but then she began to notice something else.
Noa Richard: “How teenagers are so involved and how everything revolves around their phones or the internet or technology.”
She enjoys being able to text her friends but says, because of the way she was raised she’s not glued to her cell phone.
Noa Richard: “I can be connected but not be connected, I can maintain a balance.”
Dr. Val says you don’t have to take away all your child’s electronics, just limit their usage.
Dr. Valerie Goode: “It’s not about punishing the child and removing all the technology, it’s about spending more time with your child.”
Noa is allowed to watch TV now but would rather play a game with her family. She says it wasn’t always easy growing up without TV or electronics but says her mom’s decision has changed her life for the better.
Noa Richard: “Now, I know why she was doing it and I appreciate it very much.”
Lynn Martinez: “Dr. Val says the key is to increase family time. Take a walk together or play a board game instead of hours of TV or computer time.”