I don't know if this is the right forum, I'm basically talking about computer screens as well as TV screens. I have been TV free since leaving my parental home but never had a reason for it, just that TV wasn't my thing. My partner has since moved in and isn't bothered either by no tv and since we have had a baby I am questioning why I am TV free (just i guess becuase im questioning everything in regard to DS's life.) So I am really happy to be tv free still and wont be changing that. But my partner does a LOT of his work on the computer (he's training to be a games designer but thankfully doesnt play computer/video games). He has his desk and laptop up in the attic and DS who is 1 and a half is too small to go up there, it is a complete hazard area but thats another story. I don't use the computer when with DS but do tend to do my research on it when he's in bed. I;m starting my masters as well next month so will probably have my computer in full view a lot so it's ready for me to get straight in to my work when DS is asleep. My mother introduced DS to little singysong short childrens cartoons on her iphone when he was a few months old and I was not impressed. but the iphone features HEAVILY when he is at their house 2.5 days a week while I work, mainly photo taking and then showing DS the photos and playing little videos. I guiltily also broke one difficult morning when I was stressed and put his favourit video thing on youtube and since then he has asked for it, cried when I wont turn the computer on and is OBSESSED with my phone pictures and holding the phone to his ear. I try and hide the laptop but our house is so tiny that is difficult.
My partner also sits and reads the newspaper on the iphone CONSTANTLY to relax and I feel this is showing DS that is is fine to be constantly looking at screens.
My dilemma is how can I tell/show DS that it is not healthy if everyone around him is using screens? i feel like a complete hypocrit. My parents have a huge tv that they dont really watch much and definately not in the day time normally but when its things like the football, olympics, wimbledon etc etc its on non-stop. Is it fair of me to ask they dont watch what they want to wtch in their own house? I feel like a constant nag ("please dont give him cows milk/your iphone/sugar, please dont watch tv when he's there") and I feel that people think im an overprotective "natural la la la mother" (that what I have been called by a friend). One little movie turns into two though and so on..
Has anyone got any advice? I feel so stressed just thinking about how I want it and how it IS.
Mama to my beautiful boy DS 22 months and number 2 due June '13
I didn't see in your post: how old is your son? It will probably be easier for him to understand as he gets older. I don't think it's too much to ask when you want others to not watch TV in his presence. When my husband and I and our four children lived with his parents for a little over a year, they knew our preference, and they usually closed their bedroom door when they watched TV in there, and I don't remember them ever using the living room TV while we were there. My father-in-law keeps trying to find things for my children to watch that we would just rather they not watch, even Mister Rogers' Neighborhood, but as long as we keep our foot down and remind them that we don't watch TV, usually all they do is old family videos of "when Papa was a boy". Anyway, be consistent with those around you is my advice. I don't know how to help you help your son understand, but hopefully he will in his own time if you model a healthy lifestyle with no TV for him.
May God bless you and His Blessed Mother Mary keep you! :-)
This is where the AAP guidelines have come in handy for me- they recommend ZERO screen time for kids under 2. So you can give your parents all the research about screen time and little kids, and say that when he is 2 you will allow 30 minutes or less per day, total.
I know it's hard to do with our own parents- especially when they are our free childcare providers. But they should know your preferences, and know the consequences of screen time for little kids. Even if you end up with some sort of compromise, it will probably be better than just unfettered screen time. My parents are TV addicts and they respected my wishes, but they have never been my regular childcare providers.
I've also shown things to my kids on my laptop on occasion, now that's part of my 4 year old's evening routine (UGH) and my almost-2 year old went through a phase where she was obsessed with my laptop too. I keep it out on my desk in the livingroom in plain view. That way they are used to seeing it dormant most of the time, and the only time they get to use it is if I open it up and put something on for them. I used to use it to entertain my 4 year old when I need to get the younger one down for a nap, but I've stopped doing that. It was hard but I just have to say no and be firm (and explain why, offer other things to do, etc) and there is some crying and kvetching but she always accepts it eventually. Same with the 2 year old, but she throws tantrums. I think of it the same way as ice cream- just because they see that we have ice cream in the freezer does not mean that I have to give them some, even if they have huge screaming tantrums. I've gotten a lot better at saying no and being calm, consistent, and respectful about it.