Moms have so many exceptions set for themselves. We do our best to raise our children with specific ideals in mind. Minimum daily servings of fruits and veggies, regular trips to the library, limited processed or sugary foods, TV and screen time. The list goes on. We’re all trying to be awesome and raise equally awesome kids. I have a mommy confession to make.
Sometimes I use the electronic babysitter. You know, one of the screens in the house that plays flashing lights, sounds and moving pictures. I know toddlers are not supposed to watch much in the way of TV or movies. The American Academy of Pediatrics discourages screen time for kids under 2 years of ages and recommends limiting screen time for older children. I know this. We’ve even talked about screen time for toddlers here at Right Start. Yet, sometimes I need to get some work done. Sometimes a deadline is swiftly approaching or a few bills need to be paid and my toddler is in the “you must entertain me” mode. When she’s in one of these moods, getting work done is usually not an option, so I give in and let her watch a show while my fingers fly across the keyboard trying to accomplish whatever tasks are call my name, or my body runs through the house working to make the most of the approximately 27 minutes of Dinosaur Train or Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood and get as much housework done as possible. Half the time, she’s perched on my lap watching a show on one computer monitor while I do my best to blast through work on the other monitor.
No one is perfect. Some days I don’t live up to my own silly expectations. Sometimes giving in and letting a screen keep my 2 year old occupied makes it so I can take the time to really engage with her the rest of the day instead of having her on my heels following me as I try to get things done while not really being present with her. No one can be on top of all the expectations – self-imposed or otherwise – all the time, right?
Do you let your toddler watch TV? How much or how often do you let him or her watch? Do you ever let the TV babysit in order to get things done?