Mary-ed Life

Thoughts on love, marriage, children, and random trivia.

Toddlers and TV: The Ultimate Question?

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Every parent starts out stating certain ultimatums that inevitably fail to hold. A few examples include:

1. I refuse to buy my child toys with annoying flashing lights and sounds.

2. I will not give my child unnecessary sugar or allow her to survive on chicken nuggets and french fries.

3. I will limit my child’s exposure to TV and I will not spend a dime on Baby Einstein or anything like it.

Have you said any of these things to yourself? I’ve said all of them to myself. And I’ve broken every single one.

I can not deny that my daughter loves toys that make noise, have bright lights, and moving parts. She loves wooden blocks too, and stuffed animals, and crayons. Still, on a long car ride, bring on the bells and whistles.

I worked myself to the point of insanity controlling my daughter’s diet up until her first birthday. I did this for good reason: a family history of food allergies. After her fateful first birthday, I relaxed and now let her eat just about everything, within reason obviously. I am proud to say she ate vegetable pasta with homemade tomato sauce for lunch today. She had chicken nuggets and french fries a few days ago.

And finally, a couple weeks ago I bought her first Baby Einstein DVD. She loves it.

Go ahead. Call me a hypocrite.

I’ve been reading articles for months about the dangers of toddlers watching too much television. The fear mongers warn of obesity and stalled cognitive development thanks to good old television and a healthy dose of absentee parenting. The general concensus of these experts: TV = fat, lazy, uncommunicative children. Then I read an article a few weeks ago, written by the mother of a three-year-old, defending the fact her child has his own television. She described the mornings when junior would wake at 5:30 or so. She would then pop in a Disney movie for him and go back to bed for another ninety minutes.

Personally, I would rather my child spend half an hour a day watching TV, and have that half an hour to get something done that really needs doing, then have my child suffer through my horrible mood because I haven’t slept, showered, eaten, or whatever else. Thirty minutes of Baby Einstein means my daughter has my full attention the rest of the time. I’m not busy obsessing about what needs to be done, because I have an outlet for it. Incidently, my daughter is not a zombie. She loves music and spends a good portion of each viewing dancing around the living room.

So, its time to write a new set of ultimatums:

I will not allow french fries to be the most common vegetable my child eats.

This is naturally impossible because potatoes are a starch.

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Author: maryedlife

I'm a neurotic stay-at-home-mom, formerly a middle school English teacher, trying to survive parenthood. I am married to a soldier, Dale, and we have two daughters, Ariana and Lorien.

One thought on “Toddlers and TV: The Ultimate Question?

  1. Like they say, everything in moderation. Too much TV can be bad. But sometimes you just need to get things done. Why not put on a show (just for a short time) and get some chores done? I agree, better to get sorted out and later have your full attention for your child.

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