Table of contents:
- Sources of information
- Information quality (on the example of cartoons)
- Features of information perception
The article is devoted to the formation of the very first skills of conscious perception of information in a child of 2-3 years old. This topic is closest to me, since my granddaughter is just two years old, so I study this issue not only in theory, but also in practice.
The child's consciousness is open to any information coming from outside. Unlike an adult, up to a certain age, a child is not capable of a critical assessment of everything that he sees, he simply absorbs everything like a sponge. Of course, in the modern world there are many adults who perceive information in this way, but this is largely a matter of their personal choice. But with children, it is important to filter the information flows surrounding children, and this task falls primarily on the shoulders of the parents. As practice shows, in modern conditions it is quite difficult to protect a child from the harmful influence of the modern media environment.
For example, you can remove the TV from the house (or at least give up TV) - and this is certainly the right step. But you are unlikely to be able to protect your child from communicating with viewers - after all, as the child grows up, he will communicate with peers and other adults, many of whom will be “carriers” of destructive information or false behavior patterns. Therefore, it is very important to start forming in the child the skill of conscious perception of information as early as possible, so that as he grows up he learns to comprehend and evaluate everything that comes into his field of vision.
Sources of information
First of all, you should pay attention to the main sources of information for your child. There is such a thing - imprinting.
"Imprinting is a special form of memorizing (imprinting) images and behavioral principles during the crisis periods of the life of animals and humans, which is characterized by what happens instantly, cannot be changed and has irreversible consequences for further perception of the world" (source:
For example, newly hatched goslings perceive the first moving object that they come across as a mother. It is the same with a child - the main source of information from which his learning begins will be perceived by him as the most faithful and correct.
One mother enthusiastically told me about what wonderful educational programs are now being done for children: I downloaded it to the tablet, handed it to the child - and for a couple of hours you can calmly go about your business and not think about anything. Mom is free, the child is busy, and at the same time seems to be busy with something useful, develops - everyone is happy. Yes, maybe it is - an excellent educational program that teaches the child useful skills: counting, reading, recognizing sounds and objects … But in addition, the fact that the gadget teaches him is imprinted in the child's mind. And it is the tablet with this approach that becomes the most faithful, correct, reliable source of information.
It will be imperceptible for the parents now, but in five, ten years they will begin to wonder - where did he get it, we taught him the wrong thing, did not set such a personal example … And they will hardly remember the moment when they first handed the screen to the baby and this helped to make a choice - which source to trust. Today there is a tutorial in the tablet. And what will be in it tomorrow, when the child learns to use the Internet (children learn this very quickly)? That is why I believe that the parents should become the first and main source of information for the child. Not a tablet with a training program, even the most wonderful and giving amazing results, but a mom with counting sticks; not bunnies and bears reading fairy tales, but dad with a book. Thus, the child will not be absolutely, but significantly protected from information from other sources that you cannot always control - your child will simply have much less confidence in such information. And the later he gets to know other sources of information, the better. Therefore, I consider it important that the children spend the first years of life with their parents (if the situation permits, then there is no need to rush to send the child to kindergarten) or grandparents, but not with a TV or a tablet - after all, it is at this time that the child absorbs information about the world around us from everywhere, the first authorities are formed for him. And the predominant source of information becomes the authority.
Information quality (on the example of cartoons)
Children love cartoons. But, as has been noted more than once in the materials of the Teach to Good project, not everything that a child likes is useful for him. Sometimes the most seemingly harmless things can bring significant and sometimes irreparable harm to children's consciousness. Kilometers of text have been written about the destructive influence of cartoons with very bright colors and frequent picture changes. This is important and useful information that I would recommend to all responsible parents to read, but we will not discuss it in detail here. Let's dwell on other important points.
So, what to look for when choosing the first cartoons for the little ones?
- The frequency of changing the picture. If the picture in the cartoon changes every 1-2 seconds, you should not show it to the child, since during such a time the child (and the adult, by the way, too) is not able to perceive the information consciously, but the message focused on the subconscious will be written there perfectly. And what this message is - is known only to the creator of the cartoon. Just do not be lazy and watch a fragment of the cartoon with a stopwatch in your hands. For comparison: the average frequency of changing the picture in the modern cartoon "Masha and the Bear" is 1.5 s, and in the Soviet cartoon "The Bremen Town Musicians" - 6 s.
- Color solution. Too bright colors and high contrast are not good. There are a lot of harmful influences on the psyche, everyone can search for relevant articles on the Internet.
- Sounds. Harsh, unexpected sounds are something that should not be in cartoons aimed at young children. The soundtrack should be even and calm. The characters' speech is beautiful and understandable.
- Character recognition. This is very important for a small child. A bunny should look like a bunny, a hedgehog should look like a hedgehog, a wolf should look like a wolf. The images of the characters should be such that the child can easily relate them to those previously seen. For example, in the characters of the animated series "Smeshariki" a child of 2-3 years old is unlikely to be able to recognize their initial images, for example, a lamb or a bunny. Or he will form rather distorted ideas about how these animals look. A good example of this is cartoons based on drawings and fairy tales by Suteev. By the way, they are an excellent example of the correct color scheme.
- Plot. A child 2-3 years old in a cartoon perceives only the simplest actions: a bunny is running, a bird is flying, a car is driving, etc. More difficult moments - bad / good behavior, the relationship of the characters, the motives and consequences of their actions - the baby at this age does not yet perceive. However, it is quite difficult to catch the moment when the child begins to understand the educational message of the cartoon, so it is better to show the child from the very beginning only those works that teach good. All of the above applies not only to cartoons, but also to other sources of information: books, videos, training programs, and so on.
Features of information perception
It is very important to pay attention to HOW the child perceives information. It is bad if the baby sticks to the screen: he looks absently, does not react to external stimuli. This is a signal to parents - there is a direct impact on the child's subconscious, intentional or unintentional. Unintentional is when any, even a very good and correct, cartoon is shown to a child aged, for example, six months - he does not yet recognize images, he is simply fascinated by moving pictures. And what this will lead to in the future is impossible to predict. At the other extreme, the child does not watch the cartoon at all, is busy with other things, but when he tries to turn it off, he expresses dissatisfaction. This suggests that the child is already accustomed to the constant flow of background information. If you do not stop this habit at the very beginning, in the future cartoons will be replaced by news, talk shows and serials, generously mixed with advertising, and a person will become an easy prey for manipulators acting through these channels.
It is good if the child watches the cartoon attentively, but without fanaticism, commenting out loud what is happening: who is doing what
It is very important here that the baby commented on the cartoon not with himself, not with the screen, but with the parents, who listen and answer: whether they agree or not, correct the child if he was mistaken. The participation of an adult is useful not only for the child's correct understanding of what is happening, but also so that the source showing the cartoon - a computer or tablet screen - does not become for him a more authoritative source of information than his parents. I already wrote about this above: a small child does not evaluate sources critically, for him the most important is the one he most often sees and hears. When a child watches a cartoon with his parents, when the parents take an active part in discussing it, a tablet or computer is no longer perceived by the child as an independent source of information, but just as an attachment to the main one - to the parents.
The initial skills of conscious perception of information must be formed at a very early age, as soon as the child has learned to perceive images in pictures and on a screen and associate them with real objects and actions. At the age of 2-3 years it is:
- the formation of the child's idea of parents as the main, main source of information;
- protecting the child from destructive content until he is able to evaluate it on his own;
- the formation of a habit of thoughtful consumption of information - not in the background and without sticking to the TV.