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