Posts in Parenting

Why We Are Pro Screen Time

This post was sponsored by Diamond Bloggers. All opinions expressed are my own.

Hello Friends!

Screen time is a hot topic for most moms at some point in their journey. Not long after first laying eyes on you little bundle of joy does the comparing of  notes with other mothers begin. For the most part, the majority of what you read and hear about screen time says it’s a NO NO. Especially discouraged for tots under 2.

Like any other topic that circulates among the momsphere, I have read plenty of articles and decided to find my own magic middle ground.

Historically,  I have been a pop culture fan girl.

This would hardly be possible without being a huge consumer of television, movies, and (gasp) even social media. Avoiding a screen in my house would be next to impossible, so instead, when it comes to Juju we use screen time to our advantage and not our determent!

The first thing I did was attempted to unpack and redirect the negative effects screen time has on little minds. I combat my  biggest worries about screen time and tailor them more towards learning. 

Some of the big reasons not to start a bad habit of screen time, according to experts, centers around unhealthy snacking, increased likelihood of having a sedentary lifestyle, messing up your sleep, reducing your ability to problem solve and even makes it hard to control your impulses. 

For kids under 2, it’s noted that increased screen time potentially leads to developmental delays, especially with speech. This was my biggest concern.

After mulling over it for much less time than I usually do. We made a decision that worked best for our family! 

Reasons Why We Still Allow It.

We only let Juju watch educational shows.

PBS kids, YouTube shows featuring preschool circle time or that teach letters and numbers, and Dora is about it. These shows have been helping Juju tremendously with identifying and processing his emotions , learning the art of back and forth conversation, and even some animal and body part recognition. He doesn’t watch any shows that don’t have a learning element to them. We also alternate between cartoons and real people so he can see the mouth movements needed to properly formulate his words. 

We team up with his favorite shows to help build vocabulary and associate that vocabulary  with the world around him .

The easiest way to help your child speak is to speak to them. The more words you can get them exposed to the better. We do a whole lot of reading and narrating everything  we do. During a recent trip to the zoo, Juju was easily able to identify the animals he was used to seeing on his favorite show, Dora. He squealed to see the owls, monkeys and even the bison! Now we bang the point home by reminding him about that experience and sometimes even showing him the pictures!  He is starting to repeat the words and really associate them with his experience with the real animals.  

It gives us a quick break.

In my opinion just about anything that allows parents to take a breath and come back to their parenting with fresh eyes is a win in my book. Kids thrive in environments that are positive and uplifting. If turning on Dora for 20 minutes offers me the piece of mind to grin and bear the cleanup I’ll have after dinner, then god bless me right?!

Screen time is just downtime.

One thing we never miss out on as a family is the opportunity to get outside and move our bodies. Juju loves nature. We spend some time every day letting him run and exercise. My husband and I exercise and it’s really become our favorite family activity. We don’t worry too much about adopting a sedentary lifestyle simply because we chose to watch TV during meals. We plan so many activities for Juju to engage in and television is kind of like the commercial break we take from the day periodically. 

Juju’s favorite shows are a great conversation starter in our house.

Juju is at the age where he will laugh at something on television and look back at us to see if we also saw what he saw. It’s a great time for me to expand on what he noticed and help him process it or think more deeply about it. 

We love it too!

Television is a huge part of our lives. It’s how Hubs and I relax after a long day. I can’t tell you how many deep conversations we have had as a result of a show we are in the middle of (Oh those Ozark debates). On weekday mornings after dropping Juju off, we always spend time watching our favorite old school shows on  cable, especially one of my favorite Sam Haskell classic shows, Fresh Prince Of Bel Air!

Anything can be bad for your kids if you aren’t present in the moment with them, right? Juju enjoys cuddling on the couch to watch his favorite shows before and after school. He is quickly learning so much from the programming we pick and we are glad to see it! 

What are your thoughts on Screen time? Are you for or against it? Drop me a comment and tell me why? 

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18-Month Check-In!

Thoughts On
Motherhood.

                                    Hello Friends!

As I approach my 18th month as a mother, I‘ve been doing a bit of reflecting on my journey thus far.

What can I say about Motherhood?

It really is everything everyone made it out to be…from the immense joy to the bouts of unexplained sadness. But there are some things I was like…Nah!

 

So here is a short list of the myths I discovered about parenting in my first year and a half! 

Myth: There’s no love greater than the love of your kids.

Fact:

Having Juju has brought me indescribable joy. Watching him experience every single aspect of life for the first time is truly amazing. BUT I have also experienced GREAT love in my marriage and would have still felt VERY fulfilled had we not had children (although I am glad we did!)

Myth: You can’t buy that....you have a baby now.

Fact:

What if I told you I could afford diapers AND a new shirt?? Putting aside every aspect of yourself for your kids is the notion that made me delay motherhood for so long. I'm doing a pretty good job of keeping my spending in check while also saving and paying bills. Thank you very much...

Myth: You’re not truly happy until you experience being a parent.

Fact:

I was very happy before having a baby. I travelled the world, slept as long as I wanted and had abs (memories) . Parenthood is so rewarding and wonderful it really is, but I still believe that you can have a completely satisfying life WITHOUT having kids. I will never change my mind about that.

Myth: You’ll never have time for yourself.

Fact:

I think I invest more time into self care post baby than I did pre-baby. It’s vital for me and non negotiable. Luckily I have a close network of friends and family that can take JUJU if I need a break. And let’s not forget Daddy! Daddy doesn't just jump in to give me a break, he is a full-time 24/7 parent just like I am. And we sure love him for it!

Myth: As a parent, I am automatically more knowledgeable than non-parents.

Fact:

This was a hot button for me as a non-parent so I was excited to finally partake in the larger brain parenting provides. But maybe my infinite knowledge got lost in he mail, but a good deal of parenting is a proper mix of instincts and common sense. Common sense as it relates to kids is something some non- parents lack, but I’ve seen a few parents missing the same marbles so I’ll keep checking my mailbox for my mom degree.

Overall, motherhood has been the absolute best and I still have so much more to watch my baby discover! It is surreal to wake up to a walking, almost talking manifestation of my husband and I everyday. I am excited to keep learning and growing right along with my little one.  

           Happy 18-month anniversary my love! 

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Shop Juju's 18-Month Fit!

Sensory Play On A Budget

Hi Peeps!

I wanted to do a quick post about some of the activities we were doing around the house with our 16 month old. We are currently coming out of an 80 day lockdown in Philadelphia, and during that time at home we had to get creative to replicate the activity level my son is used to getting at daycare.

Let me start by saying…

My family and I are truly blessed to have made it through this pandemic virtually unscathed. I was able to comfortably work from home while my husband watched the baby (thankfully not working from home but still getting paid). We had food, shelter, and even plenty of toilet paper to keep us happily indoors. We enjoyed watching milestones we would have otherwise missed if my son was in daycare. We also did some much needed spring cleaning and minimizing (Marie Kondo would be proud). 

Now that we have hit toddlerhood, the range of activities we can try out has vastly expanded. One of our favorites is…

SENSORY PLAY!

Sensory play includes any activity that stimulates your young child’s senses: touch, smell, taste, movement, balance, sight and hearing.

Sensory activities facilitate exploration and naturally encourage children to use scientific processes while they play, create, investigate and explore. The sensory activities allow children to refine their thresholds for different sensory information helping their brain to create stronger connections to process and respond to sensory information.

Since we love FREE and EASY…

Our sensory material of choice is WATER PLAY! It literally requires nothing but a bucket or bowl and any random household items or waterproof toys.

Sensory Materials we use:

  • Balls
  • Bath Toys
  • Applesauce Pouch caps
  • Wooden spoons

Baby loves every minute of it and it’s always stimulating enough to his senses to incite a nap!

5 minute Sensory Idea

Sometimes after meals when Ju isn’t ready to get out just yet but he is done eating, we give him a bowl full of water and a wooden spoon and he goes to town. Water play is just that simple!

Tell me what sensory activities you are doing with your toddler so I can give them a try! I’m new to this and always looking to expand on FREE and EASY summer fun, so drop me a comment and share your favorite!