Monday, May 23, 2011

Screen Time

As a dedicated parent, I understand that I need to limit and control screen time.  Luckily my kids are at an age where "screen time" means TV, not all the other gadgets available these days (I sound old right now, don't I?).  Honestly, as a Stay-at-Home-Mama, I do not know where I would be without our precious screen time.

I generally like to follow the recommendations of the American Academy of Pediatrics: no more than 2 hours of quality programming per day.  I also tend to break those 2 hours up strategically so I can get through the day myself.  I do not beat myself up when I turn on the TV.  I find it a practical way for my kids to chill out a bit and for me to get some vital work done (like cooking food that we can all eat).

I recently came across What to Watch: The Best Children's Television by Darienne Hosley Stewart at's site.  It is worth taking a look at to see if there's any shows you could rotate into your viewing schedule (if you have one, that is).  I like that there's a little summary of the series you can review before giving the show a try. 

We recently set our DVR to tape Dinosaur Train (PBS) and WordWorld (PBS).  I cannot tell you how much my kids dig these shows.  They LOVE them, and because they LOVE them, so do I.  I love feeling like they're actually learning stuff while they sit in front of the TV.  It makes me feel good about my parenting, because let's admit it, there's a lot these shows can teach that I can't (I am not a dinosaur expert in any way, shape or form).  And frankly, there's a lot I can get done while they're watching and learning that I can't get done if the TV is not on.

A word of warning, the theme song for Dinosaur Train is extremely catchy.  You may find yourself singing it at odd times of the day when there are no children present.

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