WARNING: This is a wordy one!!! :)
When I was first pregnant I thought I would be the mom that didn't let her kids watch tv... and at first they didn't. Before they were interested in tv I watched my normal shows being mindful of what I was watching, making sure not to watch anything bloody, gross or with swearing. I ended up watching a lot of the food channel and house hunters. Not too bad.
At about 10 months we let them start watching a little age appropriate stuff (baby einstein) and things like that. For the most part they weren't interested, but as they got a little older they were into it more and more, and honestly it did bother me a little. I knew people were secretly judging me for letting them watch television and then I started to obsess!
I talked to my husband and mom about it, thinking I am the worst parent to let them be watching "so much" tv. Up until recently I still felt super guilty about it. I had been reading blogs and talking to others and keeping quiet about our tv situation. I was sort of in denial. If I had to put a number on it I would like to think maybe they were/are watching and average of 2-3 hours per day, some days more... some days WAY more, other days not at all. And its never a solid 2-3 hours, its broken up by play time, naps, food, and them getting bored with it and wanting Mom and Dad time! They don't cry or scream when I turn it off, they don't miss it when it isn't on. It's not the center of my home. At any rate, my main concern was that tv was the reason Breadon had a speech delay (to which I found out that is NOT why she is speech delayed).
Sometimes they would get so into it they wouldn't hear me I thought. So instead of throwing my hands up, I got on that-and now it’s me calling them no more than 2 times and they are running for me. Its not like they watch mindless cartoons, horror movies and SVU all day, we watch alot on Netflix and Disney Junior. We watch 99% educational programming. They have learned so much from watching tv!
They have learned (with help from us of course) their numbers letters shapes and colors. Not to mention what is dangerous and what is wrong, how to share, how to feel for others and know when someone is sad and so much more about certain aspects of life. They know all their letters by sight, caps and lower case! They can count to twenty. Mostly in part by these shows and us reinforcing them on a daily basis! Breadon actually knows all her letter sounds! I'm not trying to brag by any means, I am just saying I don’t know that without this fun and interesting learning tool that they would have learned as much as fast from flash cards or something else un-tv related.
We play games and make crafts, draw and color, read, flashcards and do all sorts of other things that make them well-rounded kids. We talk about what they watch on tv and use it everyday. I will not feel guilty anymore about them wanting to watch a movie or tv especially if its helping them learn something. There is just no reason for it! No matter what your personal choice you have to do what works, and it just happens that tv works for us! These days I am reading alot more about others and what they do and I have total respect for that, what I think I have the issue with are people who think that their way is the ONLY or RIGHT way, and thats it. They tend to look down on others and it translates into their words... I don't want to be that blogger/mom/friend! Thanks for tuning in! Keep reading below!
We have found these shows the most educational! We don't watch ALL of these but they are a great starting point if you are looking for something!
Numbers and Letters:
ANY of the Leapfrog videos, they have quite a few on Netflix and we love them!
Numbers around the Globe
Exercise or Get moving shows:
Bo on the Go, cute little show about getting on the go
Yo Gabba Gabba
Go Diego Go
Pingu, they don't use any words so I think it helps kids learn how to see the characters feelings without them saying it!
Doc Mc Stuffins, sympathy and empathy and making someone feel good when they aren't well
Octonauts, under the sea!
Gaspar and Lisa
Art and Music:
All around, covers alot:
Mickey Mouse Clubhouse