Monday, April 20, 2015

Why I let my toddler watch TV... #parenting

Judgmental moms, get out your pitchforks! I am about to tell you something shocking...

I let my one-year-old watch TV. Every day.

Sometimes, he watches TV while wearing a big hot pink hat.

I acknowledge that the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends no television up to age two.  I have the utmost respect for the parents who are able to live up to this standard, but how on earth do you do it?

Andrew watches an episode of Sesame Street each morning.
  • It is educational and entertaining 
  • It has totally safe content for his little eyes
  • He enjoys the variety within one episode
  • It makes him happy
  • It allows me to get my older child off to school with shoes tied, a packed lunch, and any important papers signed

And, honestly, one of the biggest reasons of them all
  • I need a few moments each day of peace.
Otherwise, he literally clings to my leg.

He is content watching his educational programming and I can begin my day with a little bit of sanity. Because, honestly, I will have little sanity remaining by bedtime.

Yes, the television is also on when Big Sister gets home from school. She usually wants to relax for a bit with a PBS or Disney Junior show while having a quick after-school snack. She is totally adored by her little brother, so keeping him in a separate room isn't going to happen. He smiles and giggles and climbs on her, watching whatever she happened to turn on.

  • I love their sibling camaraderie

In this household, we try to limit television and other screen time. The television is not turned on unless we are actually watching something. It is never background noise, unless it's on a music-only channel. I give both children my attention as often as I can; the television is not a substitute for human, family interaction. It's just a tool to take a break sometimes. Or a couple times a day.

We spend a lot of time during the day doing other things too. We do chores. He plays in the kitchen cabinets. We get fresh air outside in the yard or on the deck. We go to playgrounds. It is a busy and fun life... and a little TV never hurt anyone. That's my humble opinion, anyway.

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