Before I became a mother, I was in the educational field for well over 15 years (I am not an old person, I started working at a young age, so don’t question when did I have my children. If you want to know late 20’s early 30’s). I have been around children all my life and I had to give a very small back story in order to speak about a sensitive topic.
I have had parents tell me not to let their children see videos in class, or not to play games on any devices. I have to say, I respected their decisions being that I was not their parents, however, after I saw with not only students that I had over the years, but also how beneficial it was for my own children, I had to speak on it.
Parents, doctors, therapist and nosy ones over the years have tried to tell me that screen time is a huge no. There are so many studies that shows the bad effects on what screen time at a young age can do to a child. What these same people failed to see is the positive effects that screen time can have on a child.
This article here explains why screen time is a good thing
Being that my daughter was born so early, she has a lot of developmental delays. One of the delays is having torticollis. Torticollis is when your head or neck is asymmetrical due to low muscle tones. Most premature babies have this condition due to lack of development. It’s not as bad as it sounds. One thing that helped my daughter’s muscle and help her have mobility in turning her head was screen time.
We also have access to a channel called “Baby First” and it is a channel dedicated to the development of infants and toddlers. With the help of baby first, bright colors, and time, my daughter was able to turn her head freely.
I am going to be blunt and if you can’t take it, then you just shouldn’t read on. CHILDREN DO NOT MAKE SCREEN TIME BAD; PARENTS DO.
You are the adult. You have complete control, not the child. You create the content for the child. It is simple. DO YOUR RESEARCH. Look into the shows that are on television, that are streaming, or check out certain platforms. Make sure the show is appropriate for your child’s age.
Here is the main point that a lot of parents miss…. SIT AND WATCH THE SHOW WITH YOUR CHILD! Don’t just assume the show is good because of what others say. Watch with your babies and judge the shoe for yourself. I sat and watched this show on Netflix called Word Party, and to be honest, my daughter had no interest in it. I heard great reviews about the show, but my daughter didn’t want any parts of the show. I had to sit and watch with her to know she did not like it.
So how did we find the right shows for her? We channel surfed. We looked at some shows I researched and she chose which ones she was interested in. My daughter is speech delayed and I have to say, when she comes across shows she enjoys, she sings along, she tries to answer questions they pose and she follows along with dances. This has helped her come a long way. She still has some ways to go, and she is still in speech class, but watching shows that interest her, has helped her speech tremendously.
To give you parents some tips and starting points: Here are some shows my 1-year-old and my 3-year-old enjoys:
Bubble Guppies (Nick jr.)
Team Umizumi (Nick jr.)
Mickey Mouse Clubhouse (Disney jr.)
T.O.T.S (Disney jr.)
Doc McStuffin (Disney jr.)
Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood (PBS kids)
Baby First (This is a network, you have to check if your cable provides this channel, if not, they have a YouTube channel)
Curious George (PBS kids)
***Sesame Street (PBS kids)
I do have to state with Sesame Street. Because they are trying to include all types of families, there may be some episodes that you may not want to expose your children to. One of my major tips for this show in particular is read the description before the episode comes on. New episodes come on HBO; however, PBS is selective with what episodes they decide to air. So be cautious.
The last suggestion I would give is you tube kids. Now with You Tube kids, you have to do a lot of watching of your own and a lot of filtering. Even though it’s You Tube kids, you have to make sure the content is appropriate for your kids. You can block videos and create a profile for your child so that content is suitable for them.
So, if you follow these tips and monitor your kids, then you will also see the benefits in screen time and your little ones. We are living in a time where screen time is the new way of life, but there has to be a limit to everything. Once in a while, you should take your kiddos outside and have a ball running, jumping, screaming, laughing, and overall… just being a kid.