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My Toddler Watches TV

My toddler watches TV.

There. I said it.

The secret is out.

Now that I am no longer carrying this burden. I am curious why you didn’t know that in the first place. Do the math. My 2-year-old Makenzie wakes up anywhere between 7 and 8 am. She takes a nap between 12:30 and let’s say 2:30, on a good day. She goes to bed around 8pm. With that in mind, Makenzie is in need of about 10 hours of play/activities during the day.

10. Whole. Hours!!

I don’t think most people realize how much time that really is. Personally, I mentally and physically cannot entertain my child for 10 hours. I especially have a harder time keeping her engaged, now that her baby brother is in the picture. Yes, we read, play, do art activities, sometimes cook, color, dance, listen to music, and whatever else may come to mind. She does these things both alone and with me. Yet and still, my toddler watches TV. I could attempt to explain the scenarios when she watches TV, but that could send the message that I only support TV watching under specific circumstances. That is not the case I am making.

If you are ever involved in a conversation of “kids and television” with other moms, you will notice a very particular tone. Every mom does their best to make it seem as if their child watches little or no TV. I mean some of these moms really bash TV, like they don’t have a favorite TV show! (Clearly they haven’t watched The Good Doctor). It’s quite funny. I have been in these conversations often and am laughing out loud right now as I reflect on how I tried to fit in and agree with these moms. I admit; I am ashamed of myself for doing that. I am ashamed that I didn’t speak up and admit that my child watches TV and is still smart as a whip. I mean that’s the issue, right? People think your child will have developmental challenges if they watch any amount of TV.

My child watches TV and I am no longer afraid to say that. The more I type it, the less I am starting to care about being judged for this.

I will say is that I do my best to manage what Makenzie watches and 90% of the time it is an educational program. Oh, but do not be fooled. She watches movies too! Trolls is her current favorite, in case you cared to know. However, I really do try to focus on educational programs. She has learned to identify her letters and sing tons of nursery rhymes from “Kids TV” videos on YouTube. Word Party has helped her expand her vocabulary and understanding of the world. She’s learning phonics from Alphablocks. When we get sick of flash cards, she practices her sight words, colors, and shapes with other YouTube Videos. There may be research to say that kids are not actually learning from even the most educational of shows, but my experience shows that is a lie! When I hear my daughter recall something I know she learned from watching TV, I praise her just as if it is something I personally taught her. There really is an opportunity for positive learning results through watching age-appropriate programs. Let me be clear, I am in no way defending the fact that my toddler watches TV. Instead, I am seeking to champion the idea that it really is not a sin to let your children watch TV. I especially believe that certain programs can be a great supplement to helping your child learn. Obviously, I am not suggesting that you sit your child in front of a TV for all 10 hours they are awake, but don’t be ashamed of including TV time in your child’s routine.

I get it. If you are a stay-at-home parent and your child is not in daycare, it is just plain hard. I refuse to pretend like I have a full-on schedule of activities planned for my child each day. I just don’t. The truth is, you probably do not either. More power to you if you do! Would you mind starting a blog detailing your day with your kids? I am asking for a friend, of course!

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