Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Screen Time: The Debate

My child is watching too much TV. Not according to the American Academy of Pediatrics. Not according to HuffPost Parents. Not according to Pinterest. But, according to me.

Tracy tells me I am taking this one way too seriously. And, maybe she is right. Maybe Momma needs five minutes a day to make dinner uninterrupted. Maybe a long car ride is much better with a movie. Maybe.

But, then it just feels wrong.

She's not quite two. And, I hate that she even knows what the TV is. I hate that she zones out so much in five minutes, I can barely kiss her on the head and have her acknowledge me. I hate that every car ride over 30 minutes needs a movie.

How did I/we do this? How did it happen? It seems like just a few short months ago she wanted nothing to do with any screens. And, now she cries if I won't let her watch. Ugh.

Looking back, it was just a little at a time. And, now every day, I regret to admit that she watches Mickey Mouse while I make her dinner.  When she was sick this week, she watched A LOT of Mickey Mouse. In fact, "Nicky House" is the only thing she ever watches. It's OK when she's sick, right?! Maybe not - for me, her and us as a family.

So, what do I do now? Do I cut her off cold turkey? Again, she's only two. I don't imagine it will be too hard to reverse her already forming habit. And, where do I draw the line of exceptions? Is it OK when we're driving for hours? Or on the airplane?

Ultimately, I guess only I (and husband, of course) can determine what is OK.

Thankfully, if only to make myself feel better, she knows nothing about the iPad, or the phone. She doesn't have apps or games or anything of the like. She has no idea how to swipe the device to make it work. So, for now, I'll hang on to that little bit of thankfulness and bask in the fact that I at least feel OK about that.

But, I need to make a change. On a much broader scale.

I work full time. Why on earth should she spend any time watching TV when she is with me for such a short amount of time each day? On the flip side, it's time to start thinking about things for her to do while I need those few minutes to prepare a meal each day.

Call me a drama queen. Call me ridiculous. But, making this change feels as good as saying "I'm going to stand up and do what I feel to be the best thing for my family." Choice made.

And, we carry on in our un-TV home.

It's Mickey - laced with crack for the ultimate kiddie addiction.

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