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.”
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.”
‘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”.
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.
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.”
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?”