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television

How Having A Baby Changed My TV Viewing Habits

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It is amazing how truly ignorant you are about the life of a parent before you have kids of your own. How many of us have watched our friends or random strangers with their children and thought “Oh, when I have kids I will never do that.” I know I did. One of my dumbest comments ever was “My whole life isn’t going to change just because I have a kid.” Oh, how I laugh thinking about that now.

“I will still make time for my friends, go out & do things for myself”, I said. Well part of that was true. I do still try to make time for my friends, but Oh how things have changed.

This is what a Saturday night out with one of my friends looked like before and then after kids. We went from nursing beers to nursing babies. What a difference a year made.

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This was just one of many changes in my life. I think one change that you will see in any household after having a child is the presence of cartoons & sing-alongs on the television set. I find myself at work singing the theme song to Little Einsteins, & humming the Hot Dog Dance. The Bubble Guppies & the clan at Mickey Mouse Clubhouse are regular guests in our home.

What I didn’t realize is how much it would affect my television viewing after she went to sleep. Programming that I once found desirable suddenly has become disturbing and offensive to me.

It was not unusual for my husband & me to have weekend long Law & Order marathons. Now I can barely watch an episode without cringing. I already have irrational fears when it comes to my child, so to see a program that centers around crimes that are often committed against children makes me sick to my stomach.

My husband & I were big into Breaking Bad. There was one episode that showed a 6 year old boy getting shot and killed while riding his bike. If you watched the show, I am sure you know the one. The image of it haunted me for days.

It is not just the crime dramas that I can no longer watch. I now find some of my old favorites such as Family Guy to be offensive. I realize many people have this feeling already, but the truth is even with all it’s political incorrectness & crude humor it was one of my favorites. I now have difficulty sitting through a full episode. Is it because I have so closely monitored inappropriate content for my daughter, that I no longer feel that I can watch it? I am not sure. All I know is that I am thankful for re-runs of The Big Bang Theory, because that seems to be the only thing that I find suitable for myself to watch these days, that and Sophia the First.

Toddlers & Technology – How Much is Too Much?

Toddlers&technology

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Recently, a fellow blogger wrote in to one of the mom forums posing the question, “Should she get her child an IPad or a Tablet?” She was concerned because there is much debate on introducing technology to our young ones too soon. I have heard arguments for this coming from both sides & wanted to weigh in with my thoughts & maybe hear some of yours as well. There are a number of reasons that doctors and child psychologists list for not introducing television & computers at a young age.

1. Not enough social interaction

2. Not enough physical activity

3. Shortens attention span

4. Over stimulation

5. Not enough hands on learning time

Most argue that none of these should be introduced before 2 and that even “educational programming & applications” may bear not any real learning merit. My daughter just turned 2. A common day with our daughter begins anywhere between 6:30am-8am and lasts until about 8-9 at night. During the course of my toddler’s day she eats, reads, colors, builds, pretends, cooks with mommy, chases the dog, jumps, crafts and yes, watches TV & plays on the computer. Shocking, I know!

I first introduced her to the television with Baby Einstein videos. Her favorites were ‘My First Signs’ & ‘World Animals‘. Many may not agree with it, but it was a great learning tool for her. Mai was using sign language early on and many of her first words were animals that she had seen repeatedly from watching them on TV & seeing them in books. You may shake your head at me and say “Tsk tsk.” but sometimes, I have been even been known to throw in a video while I am trying to make supper.

I am not an expert. I am just a mommy. Here are my thoughts…
Technology is advancing every day. Computers are everywhere. To be successful in the world these days, you need a working knowledge of how they are run. Teaching our children at an early age how to use this technology gives them a great jump start to something they will need in their future. Do not let your child become a slave to technology. Make sure that they are active and that the majority of their days are still filled with several different activities. As I said before, my daughter’s days are packed with various things. She has taken swim classes, music , & is about to start tumbling too.

She has a Nabi Tablet & she is registered with ABC Mouse’s Early Learning Academy. I love both of these and so does she. She does not use either of these without mommy, daddy or Nanna doing them with her. We still engage her during the lessons, by letting her point out the pictures & asking her questions. She is very proud to show us what she is learning.
If my little girl is the little sponge that everyone says that she is, why can’t she absorb her learning from every resource that she can.
I would love to hear your feedback on this.

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Related Topics:
http://ifunfail.wordpress.com/2013/11/16/teach-your-kids-about-all-animal-sounds/