If there is one thing I would have done differently as a mama, it was to never have introduced T.V. into my baby’s life, well till he was 13. I kid. But when he was about a year, everyone encouraged me to show him cartoons. “Aw look how cute, he likes Mikey Mouse?!” my mother would say. “Show him another.”
Yes, it was cute back then, but now, at two-years-old, not so much. He wakes up gets out of his crib every morning and walks directly into his couch potato, mini-chair and cries, “I want to watch some T.V.!”
I can’t say I blame him though. I’m also addicted to screens. I wake up and turn on my phone, then my computer, then the T.V. on my computer. I text friends and family all day, sending out every thought that pops into my head. I’m even one of those awful people who will look at my phone when walking. Horrendous.
I know I’m a bad example. The other day my little boy became obsessed with his neighbor’s toy and had to take it home. The mom let us borrow it, though I’m regretting the exchange. It was a pink wanna be cell-phone. It had numbers to press and a little screen that lit up with characters. Now he wakes up in the morning and needs to turn on his pink cell phone. All day he asks, “Where is my pink cell phone?” Yes, he misplaces it all day like we do our iPhones.
I mean who is to really say that screens are so bad anyway? Our pediatrician said that we really have no idea what the effects of these screens and constantly connected culture will on this generation. Will they turn our kids into robotic like adults? Will they make our children sick from the radioactive waves? Maybe they will actually become geniuses from all the stimulation? Or maybe they will be overwhelmed and need serious therapy and medication. Gulp. Nobody really knows. Though in our guts, we just think all these screens are essentially bad.
Either way, our pediatrician told us she removed all the television sets from her home when her kids were little and she recommends we do the same. I can’t imagine the tears! I just don’t have the guts to do it.
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends limiting all screen time for kids aged 2-5 to one hour a day. Sometimes we do that, and um, sometimes we go over that limit. Especially when my husband is away and I need a few breaks, and I need time to make dinner. T.V. is my only real sitter, people.
But getting back to me, I need to lead by example and be the change I want to see in my child, right? So here’s my promise: I’m going to hold off on turning my phone on when I wake. I’ll look ahead and never text and walk. I’ll limit my texts, and write them down on paper instead. But I won’t be able to delete my Facebook account like so many people declare in their feeds, and it seems like they’ve vanished from the earth. Though, I can try to remove the app from my phone? Baby steps.
I can do this! I’m sure I’ll feel more at peace, calm and connected to myself, rather than all that useless Internet information. I might cry a little too, or a lot, along with my boy, but we will be better people in the end for it. I think! Wish me luck. Signing off now.