Worries About School TV Video: “Don’t Teach Kids to Keep Away”


In the video it is explained to children that you have to keep a distance if you love each other and what exactly is one and a half meters. But, says Van der Linden, children don’t have to keep their distance.

Until the age of 12 you do not have to keep to one and a half meters between yourself and adults, the website of the National Government states. This also applies to secondary schools.

Sung all day

Still, the video was shown to young children at school, says Van der Linden. “The song is made for children from 0 to 6 years old. And I also see children of 11 going crazy. I hear from several parents that children sing it all day long.”

She calls that outrageous. According to Van der Linden, the video is even harmful. “We unnecessarily scare children, because they have nothing to do with that distance. In fact, you say: if you get too close to your mom or dad, you don’t love him or her.”

And that has consequences. “I see very frightened children in my practice because of the one and a half meter message who are afraid to go to friends or to grandparents. That is going too far.”

In addition, touch is important, she says. “Touch is one of the first necessities of life, such as eating and drinking. You take it from them. There are studies that show that the mortality rate among babies who cuddle little is much higher. That shows how important physical contact is.”

‘Very strange story’

Bas Delivery, a teacher at Utrecht University, agrees. “Physical contact is very important.” He calls the message in the video “a very strange story”.

There is also a positive note: “It is quite nice that they divide those 1.5 meters into all kinds of pieces, such as coconuts or eggs. Then you can have children playfully calculate.”

But, he adds, that is not the point here. “The main message is not correct here. Because you don’t have to keep your distance and if you love each other, you don’t keep a distance of 1.5 meters. I think it’s a very strange case.” His suggestion: make a video in which the 1.5 meter distance is better explained, also to whom that distance applies.

Van der Linden is concerned about the long-term effect. “You can talk to children about an anxiety disorder. Then you will later have adults who are blocked in social contact and have problems entering into relationships.”

Correct message

But according to Delivery, it is not that bad. “You shouldn’t be overly dramatic about such a video. The influence of one such movie is not decisive among all the information that children already receive. So it is exaggerated to say that this will be very harmful.”

Delivery mainly hopes that adults intervene when children see the video. “Hopefully there will be wise parents sitting next to the children on the couch explaining how it works. But they have to correct the message and that cannot be the intention.”

Better understanding

The NTR, responsible for School TV, says that the video playfully shows children what the commonly used term ‘one and a half meters’ means in practice. “Children watch School TV videos at home with their parents / caregivers or at school, and those parents and teachers can use the video to better understand today’s world.”

“I don’t want my child to find people scary”

Mother Marsha Mels (41) is concerned about the video. “I don’t want my kids to grow up in a society where people are scary and you have to walk around them with a big bow.”

She has two sons aged 4 months and 6 years old. “I have a feeling children are being indoctrinated with the video. They are getting a message telling them not to hug or hold especially those they love.”


Marsha is afraid that they will develop fears. “Or that they can no longer be social. I can already hear my son say: that is not 1.5 meters, I call the police. If they learn that the outside world is scary and that you are not allowed to connect, they will feel unsafe. ”

According to Marsha, the fact that the NTR says in the video’s comment that you have heard a lot about a meter and a half recently, the distance that large people have to keep, does not change that. “Children don’t read that, do they?”


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