I, for one, am already guilty of exposing my (nearly) 3 month old son to television. After a few days of nonstop crying, I found out that Katy Perry the Movie: Part of Me worked like a magic charm – a few beats of her songs, a blue wig, and some candy-cane boobs seemed to enchant my little munchkin (you can read about the whole experience in this post). It seemed as though I had cured our home of the evil, troll baby who was polluting our otherwise calm environment. However, my husband and I quickly grew tired of Katy Perry’s costumes and voice, and we decided we would no longer play the movie. However, Clark was not done with his first crush, and we were forced to purchase Katy Perry’s newest CD (which he listens to every.freaking.morning).
BUT ANYWAY. When I was pregnant, I swore I wouldn’t let Clark see the glow of a TV screen before the age of three. All of the research from the American Academy of Pediatrics suggests that television and media screens sound be completely avoided before age two, because “A child’s brain develops rapidly during these first years, and young children learn best by interacting with people, not screens.”
And I absolutely agree. I don’t think Clark should be sitting in front of the TV at all. But it all goes back to the original question: how do we keep kids away from digital life? We have smartphones, iPads, laptops, desktops, and, now, electronic scanning devices at the grocery store (you know, the ones where you scan your groceries as you shop – as in everyone has a personal shopping scanner at the store. IS THIS REAL LIFE?!). Is it even possible to keep your child screen-free for two years?
Honestly, I don’t think so. Not unless you’re willing to eliminate it from your habits, too. If you don’t want your child exposed to television and other forms of digital media, you, too, must put down the remote. So, with an infant or young child, what are your alternatives? Luckily, I’ve come up with a list for you. You’re welcome, people.
1. Read to your child. And, no, not from your iPad or Kindle. From an actual paper and ink piece of literature. It doesn’t have to be a children’s book. Here’s your excuse to load up on trashy magazines like The National Enquirer, US Weekly, etc. Anything is better than television, RIGHT?!
2. Use your baby as a kettle bell. Ok, don’t ACTUALLY hurl your baby around like a kettle bell. But use your little one as weights for basic arm sculpting, squatting, and abdominal workouts. You’ll look hot, and it’s better for your baby. WIN-WIN!
3. Have a puppet show. True, your baby might not be able to understand what on earth you’re doing. But your munchkin will certainly be entertained. And you can make up whatever bogus scenarios you want. Hello, creativity.
4. Go shopping. Yeah, I’ve given you an excuse to go to the mall. You’re welcome.
Ok, I can’t think of anymore right now. But, just know, anything is better than television. Well, almost anything. I think. I don’t know. I’m new at this parenting stuff, okay?