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Kids and TV: How much do yours watch?

When Alex was a baby he watched no TV. Well, that’s not entirely true. While I was breastfeeding (for the month that it lasted) I often drowned out the pain by tuning in to The Real Housewives. So he did get some exposure. But I never did the Baby Einstein videos and we never had the TV on when he was in the room and I really thought I’d be one of those moms who limited my little kid’s TV watching to Charlie Brown holiday specials. Yeah, right.

It wasn’t until the past few months that Alex has really started watching TV on a regular basis, but I think it’s safe to say it has become a little habit. Usually about 15-20 minutes in the morning (Handy Manny or Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, in our bed while we’re all waking up) and about 20 minutes at night—Dora or Diego, right before book-reading time. And, OK, he is obsessed with Thomas so we let him watch it on my laptop some nights when we’re getting dinner ready. There are definitely days that go by where he doesn’t watch any TV, and when he does he’s very engaged, asking questions, singing along, shouting the catchphrases, so I guess it’s not the end of the world, right?

Well, this past weekend, with all the craziness of Thanksgiving and hosting and having 35 people at my house (it was awesome, by the way), the TV definitely became a crutch. On Friday we were all so exhausted that we actually rented Ice Age and all three of us watched it together (it was really the only time Alex sat still and I can’t say I minded cuddling with him on the couch). And there was definitely some Thomas going on too. All this tubing out made me think about what’s going to happen when the baby comes and we are in need of distractions for Alex. I don’t think I can handle my kid becoming a TV addict—nor would I allow that to happen—but I’m not delusion either. I know I’m going to be tired and a tired mom usually means the rules slide a little, no? What is your stance on TV? Any experience with a new baby and a big brother/sister watching too much? Would love to hear your opinions!

 

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