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I know that the Academy of Pediatrics recommends that children over the age of 2 be limited to no more than 2 hours of TV a day. Some days, however, I find this to be very challenging. How do you limit TV in your house?
VERY challenging. I try to break my son's tv time up into the times when I need it most - taking my shower in the morning, cooking dinner, etc. If he watches just a half hour show during this time, then it doesn't add up to a TON of tv. I also just try really hard to have a list of places we can head out to at a moments notice if we need a break from the house. I read somewhere that kids don't spend enough time engaged in self-directed play and constantly need to be entertained. I realized that I was doing this to my own child - he was practically incapable of playing on his own and entertaining himself without me or an electronic device. I started just setting out different activities and things for him to do and telling him to go play, that I was busy. He eventually started to just do more self directed play and is a lot more self sufficient. Anyway, it's VERY hard to limit tv some days and I just figure that if it's an occasional thing that he goes over 2 hours, he'll survive. :-)
We generally watch TV once she's asleep.
If she's in the room then the TV is off so that she can focus on playing with her toys or spending time with a parent. The adult in the room either plays with her, does chores (like cleaning or folding clothes) or does non-TV-related leisure activities like reading.
I am very impressed by your discipline around tv watching. Have you found that resisting having the tv on gets easier with time? I'm just really impressed to your commitment to her development and health. How old is your daughter? I would be that she is ahead of most other babies her age developmentally since you and your husband spend so much time interacting with her. This is one of the greatest gifts you can give her. Have you found music that she enjoys as an alternative to TV? What is her favorite type of music or musician? I think that music and spending time reading are two of the best things you can offer an infant and toddler.
Keep up the good work!
Don't give us too much credit. After a long day at work/daycare followed by a long commute we simply don't have much evening time as a family. We'd rather not use that time in front of the television. We hang out, she plays with her toys, we might do some Itsy Bisty yoga, we have dinner. Before we know it, it's time for a bath, books and bed. It's a little more challenging on the weekends...especially when the weather is bad and we're stuck inside.
As for music, she has her own playlist on my iPod. It's nothing special--just some bilingual Spanish/English songs we burned from some CDs I found on Amazon.
She's two years old.
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