Now, I bet you’re expecting me to tell you that we don’t have a TV, or that I don’t let Fiona watch TV, or that, at most, I enforce a solitary half-an-hour a day screen time and never let her see it before age two. Ha!
Ha! Ha! Ha!
I fail at television. I think every parent has places where they aren’t the best, and they try to improve, and they try to make changes, and they still struggle. For me, that’s television.
The AAP recommends no screen time before age two and very limited time after, but most of us don’t abide by that. I was told that the big problem with TV was that it limited development. So, I didn’t worry about it.
Fiona hit all her developmental milestones on time or early, so I wasn’t concerned about something where the big risk was delaying engagement and skills development. No biggie, right?
The other problem that I’d heard was that kids who watch too much TV end up with attention problems and are at increased risk of attention deficit disorder. Again, I wasn’t concerned. Fiona can focus just fine. I mean, if I sit and read to her, she can sit through a full Magic School Bus book and asks for more afterwards. No problem. We’re in the clear, right?
Wrong. I read something interesting last week, and for the life of me can’t remember where, about attention span and TV. It said that children who watch television didn’t suffer badly from a decreased ability to attend to information, what they suffered from was a decreased ability to do things.Kids who spend too much time observing don’t learn initiative.
This is a problem we do have. Fiona can’t seem to start herself on activities. She doesn’t go play with toys without an adult starting to play with her first. She doesn’t want to do things herself, she wants to watch others do them.
That means I have to fix this. That’s the crappiest part about parenting, to me. It’s not the worrying; it’s the fixing your mistakes. It’s the editing. Anyone who’s been reading this blog for long knows that I’m not the worlds most enthusiastic editor.
So, here’s the current goal: I want us below one hour of screen time a day by her third birthday.
I don’t want to raise a child who can’t act on her own. I want her to be someone who goes out and does things, not someone who sits passively by and watches. She is too amazing to waste on my own laziness.