Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Television Tuesday

I am one of those parents who is not a fan of screen time for the kids.  This means television, iPad, phone, video games,  etc.  I think children spend too much time in front of screens when they should  be outside in the fresh air, or moving around and doing imaginative play without the help of some electronic.

Do I think it is all bad?   No.  I think there is some usefulness in it.  I know certain shows are educational and definitely help teach the kids.  Video games and iPad apps can help with critical thinking skills and learning how to navigate technology, which will definitely be important for them to know in the future.

However, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that children under age two should avoid television and other media.   On top of that, studies have shown that all that screen time can lead to behavioral and developmental issues later on.  These are things that I would like to avoid. 

With that being said, if I had a little more willpower, my children would probably watch a lot less television than they do.  Meaning, zero hours per week, or maybe only a movie once a month or so.    My oldest is now five and has seen quite a few Disney movies and is up to date on the popular Disney Junior shows.  Since she is usually in the same room as her sister, my two-year old gets a lot more screen time than her sister ever did at that age.  

I have a love/hate relationship with the television.  When I am having a rough pregnancy day, I can turn it on and know the children will stay occupied in one spot and I can veg out for a bit until I feel better or I think their brains have been reasonably fried.  Seriously, this thing is like a drug.  My oldest will sit in front of it for as long as we have it on.  That's just her personality.  My youngest will also sit for a bit to watch, but doesn't stay for quite as long.  It tends to turn them both into little zombies.  

 

In an effort to limit the television usage, we have instituted "Television Tuesday."  Tuesday is the only morning we don't have a specific place we are supposed to be, so the girls get to watch TV in the morning when they wake up.  They LOVE it.  They wake up in the morning shouting "TV! TV!"  Apparently Mommy isn't that exciting.  

We have a few other occasional television times, such as when they watch a movie or cartoon together in the evening with Daddy.  Or when somebody is sick and needs to rest on the couch (although my oldest will try to pretend that she is sick a lot, so she can watch TV.  But we are on to her).  

Am I being overprotective?  Maybe.  I think my husband thinks I am a little crazy.  Although I think they still watch way more TV than they need to, when they could be playing with toys or running around outside.  However, they are pretty happy with the current situation, so we will see how it goes.