Research and Analysis:
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that you not let your child watch TV before the age of 2. In France, it's illegal to broadcast TV shows targeted for kids under 2. There's loads of supporting information on the internet as well. Okay-- cool. We didn't. So, what about TV for toddlers, 2+. I decided to hit up google to find out how much TV the average toddler watches. Kidshealth.org claimed that two thirds of infants, toddlers and children under 6 years watched an average of 2 hours a day. Really?! Babble.com made a claim that's closer to what I think is more accurate, kids in a home based day care watch an average of 5.5 hours of TV a day. Babycenter.com had forums that provided commentary from parents on how much they claim their child watches. Doing my own analysis from my memory bank, I've met tons of mom's that leave the TV on all day. I actually thought that my child watched far less TV than the average kid up until recently. It makes me think, people can be pretty defensive when it comes to their kids... Is this like when you go to the doctor and he asks you how many drinks you've had in a week and you say 1 when it was really more like 10? Or is my math off because I'm basing this off of kids that stay at home. According to The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services Administration for Children & Families (Whew! That's a loaded title.) only 4% of children ages 1-4 years stayed home while 65% spent their day in daycare in 2009. Personally, I don't have an opinion about what's best for kids, home care or daycare... To each their own. But it does put the TV average into perspective, kiddos in daycare don't just sit around watching TV all day, or at least I hope not!
My Wild Thing is obviously bored. That's why he's bouncing off the walls. He's been sitting there all day, bundled up with energy and no outlet. I've got both of the kids with me all day and they both require constant attention and supervision, on top of it I've been trying to make time for myself to continue building up my portfolio. I've said this about a million times now, when people that ask me what it's like to bring home baby #2 I say, *1 kid is manageable, 2 is outrageous.*. You're workload isn't just doubled, it's quadrupled. Let me set it straight, I'm not trying to make excuses here, I got lazy. -- Now, what do we do once we turn off the TV? We're at a cross roads: Is it my job to entertain him all day? I feel like it might set off some critical balance and give him the inflated sense that the world revolves around him. I feel like my child should have a strong sense of independence to really develop. On that same note, a child needs attention and security to really take off and explore his/her surroundings. Maybe... it'll work itself out over the course of time. I don't really have an answer right now.
The Up & Up:
I really want to teach this kid some things!! I know that every mom thinks that their kid is the smartest kid EVER and I'm no exception to the rule. I see loads of potential in my Wild Thing and we're not doing anything about it. I've tried, unsuccessfully, to do flash cards and sing songs. I'll be the first to admit that I'm not exactly cut out for this. I don't really know what to do with kids. So far I've been following my instincts, reading books and copying other moms who seem to know what they are doing. I think it's time that we create a few activities. Activity #1: Carrying around a letter all day. Today I started with A. I gave it to him to hold onto and asked him about it as often as I could.
Last night he read A LOT!! He pulled out every book on the shelf and looked at every page. When he was done, he chucked it across the room. *Nice* We tried to play My First Uno and had 1 completely successful game! He totally got it, the numbers, the colors, he even got that you had to call out UNO! when you had 1 card left. When the game was over, the cards went everywhere and I retreated to the computer again. -- Later on he played in the bath for a while and then came downstairs. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw all of those books and cringed. I turned to the Wild Thing and said, "No dinner until the books are put away". By the time dinner was served, the books were put away... Noticing anything weird here? Yea. Wait for it. I served him dinner at the dinner table and returned to the kitchen to feed Twinkle Toes... *silence*... I walked into the dining room, something must be wrong... Nope, he's just sitting there eating. I do a 360 and notice that the house is not in shambles, I even heard myself think that. Dare I say, it's working? Nope, not yet.
Nothing really to report on. Mr. Wonderful was in charge this morning and then the Wild Thing spent most of the day at a birthday party, eating highly processed chips, hot dogs and cake along with syrupy drinks. It was a nice break, but I'm sure he'll be wired this evening. Still no TV, he's only asked for it once. Things seem more manageable but only time will tell.