I read the books. I listened to all the recommendations from the experts—you know, the internet.
Here are just a few of the many
No sushi. No sleeping on my back. No cat litter. No deli meat. No unncessary medicine. No alcohol. No coffee. Back to sleep-- Tummy to play. No solids until 4 months. One new food at a time. No eggs, peanut butter, whole milk, or ice cream until one year. Organic when possible.
Please don’t take any of these examples as proof of what a good parent I was. Quite the contrary, I was a neurotic mess. I worried more than I ever thought possible. I did most of these things because I was convinced something bad would happen if I didn’t.
Most of those things have either ceased to be a worry or have become less so over time.
For example, I learned my parents gave Emily and Drew McDonald’s chicken nuggets and I didn’t freak and my kids didn’t break out in hives. (Apparently, Drew responded with a great, big “mmmmm.”) If you
There is one recommendation, though, that Marty and I have done a pretty decent job of following: no TV before the age of two.
It’s not that we thought they would turn into little Mike Teavees overnight. Nor did we think that no TV would make our kids better than other kids or magically make us better than other parents.
We had various reasons for trying to hold the line and delay the introduction of TV--all of which you’ve probably heard before.
Our “do as I say, not as I do” parenting has worked fairly well so far. While we watch TV, play Words with Friends, post on Facebook, Twitter, and Blogger, send emails, and download apps, the babies play, seemingly oblivious to most of it.
I’ve noticed them noticing the TV.
One of their favorite toys is their “poo-tar.”
They know how to unlock the i-phone and activate Siri.
When they see the furry red Sesame Street monster, they say “El- MO!”
All of this noticing has me wondering how much longer before we join the ranks of parents who hate watching Yo-Gabba-Gabba for the 15th time.
Then, there is the question of other forms of screen time. How and when should I let Emily and Drew use apps on our phone?
I read an article (online) recently about the increasing amounts of screen time in children. Not shocking. It also discussed the increasing gap between kids who have access to apps and those who don’t—the app gap.
This question of what happens to kids on either side of that gap got me thinking.
Sure. We know the dangers of too much TV, and it’s not difficult to extrapolate that too much app time is probably equally detrimental.
But what about the educational benefits of apps (and even TV)? Am I inadvertently putting Emily and Drew at a disadvantage by withholding my old i-phone? Will I one day look upon the recommendation of no screen time before 2 with the same ambivalence I have about bottle propping and rice cereal?
In moderation, would Emily and Drew benefit from a little _____(help me…I don’t know the names of many cartoons)?
In moderation, would Emily and Drew benefit from a little __________(help me….I don’t know the names of many educational toddler apps)?
What say you, dear Internet