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Five Minutes with Jim Silver

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Jim Silver is recognized as one of the preeminent experts in the toy, licensing, and family entertainment industries. Currently, Silver is the editor in chief of family entertainment and toy review website www.TimeToPlayMag.com as well as editor in chief of trade publications Royaltie$: The Journal of the Licensing Industry and Toys & Family Entertainment at aNb Media.

He talks about his experiences:

What is the one thing you think parents should know about your work?
While testing and writing about toys appears to be fun, parents underestimate the role toys play in a child’s development. When we evaluate toys, we look at them very differently than most parents. We make sure that besides being fun and engaging, a toy has attributes that will also help a child learn and grow as a person.

What are your feelings about the role of the father in child development?
I don’t like to stereotype the role a father has in child development. It’s not about being a good father, but about being a good parent. As a father of three daughters, I bonded with my girls through activities such as cooking and fashion, not the traditional activities associated with most fathers.

What is the best thing dads can do in the raising of their children?
The best thing a dad can do is to make time to spend with his children. Close relationships are built through common interests and the time parents invest in fostering those interests will eventually become cherished memories.

What is the biggest error dads can make in raising their children?
If a child doesn’t find interest in some of the things that you like, don’t push. Instead, see if there’s something that they’re interested in that you’d like to learn more about. It’s important to find and build upon these common bonds.

It’s been said that the greatest regret aging men have is that they didn’t spend more time with their kids. How do you feel about that statement?
Unfortunately, I agree and believe that statement to be true. There’s an old adage about children I never forget: “You found the time to bring them into this world- you can surely find the time to be with them.”

Every generation worries that their kids aren’t strong enough to handle the real world. Do you feel kids need to be “toughened up” by experiencing rough times?
I’m not sure “toughened up” is the right term. But you do grow and get stronger through adversity in every aspect of life.

Or conversely, do you think kids need to be smothered with love to give them storehouse of good feelings with which to deal with the inevitable challenges of life in the real world?
There’s a fine line between being a loving, protective parent and smothering a child. People of all ages grow through experiencing challenges. Without the opportunity to face some adversity, we lose the opportunity to develop our character.


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