Before I was a mom I had a lot of ideals. Some of them I’ve stuck with and some not so much. One of the things I haven’t stuck with super strictly is my “no TV watching until age 2″ stance.
Fern is 19 months old, and a couple of months ago I let her watch an episode of “Mickey Mouse Clubhouse” when she wasn’t feeling well. The girl only had four teeth for the longest time — and then in a one-and-a-half month time span, she sprouted eight more! It was a bit rough on her, and Mickey Mouse and friends were the perfect cure for her grumps. I knew if wasn’t part of my “plan,” but it just made her so happy!
Since then, we’ve let her watch TV on occasion, but the most she ever watches is one to two 20-minute episodes in a week. Many weeks, she doesn’t watch any. At first I felt a little bit guilty about it, but it’s actually been a positive experience for us. I’m careful not to use TV shows as a distraction and when Fern does watch something, I sit down with her and watch so we can interact together.
We pretty much watch “Mickey Mouse Clubhouse” exclusively because, A) It’s the only show that I really even know (apparently I’m not very well connected with kids’ shows), and B) There is educational merit. I love the creative problem solving that they use on the show and the interactive questions that they ask. It has helped Fern with some word recognition, and aside from that, she loves the songs and is constantly getting up for dance breaks!
I know a lot of parents wait longer to let their little ones watch TV, but this is what felt right for us and I feel like Fern is learning from it. I’m curious… how old was your little one when they watched their first TV show? Or if they haven’t yet, at what age will you let them watch TV?