As a first time parent, I tend to learn as I go. Assuming most of us are in the same case. There really is no TRUE guidebook on “How to Parent”. Nope, just your own guide. You know the guide that works for you and says, “Well how I am going to handle this ______?”
My daughter is 2. She is beautiful, smart, and a fireball. She’s 2 ya’ll. You probably think the same thing of your kid(s) at their age too. At the age of two, apparently, the toddler stage is an important part of their development as they learn how to use their problem solving skills, become more independent, and tend to take on the world with the word “No”.This just described my sweet little girl to a “t”. However this isn’t just about her, but more about myself and my journey in raising my child.
Raise your hand if you enjoy breaks? Time off? Vacations? There is no such thing once you have entered the joys of parenthood, but there are lazy days. You know the lazy days you want to sit down on the couch, watch Netflix and ignore all the chores. Where you really encourage your kid(s) to play in their room. With the millions of toys they have, and NEVER touch.
Well I had one of those days and while it was very relaxing it was also very nerve racking. Let get to it.
My husband and I chose to take a relax day and Netflix it up. Our little one was running back and forth between the room, her toys, the iPad, the TV. Now, rightfully admitting the show that we choose to watch was not the best for little eyes to see, she did watch a bit here and there. I found that she was actually watching a little more than I wanted her too. I felt like I took a little bit of purity from her, as the T.V. blared with deathly screams, scary monsters, gory parts, violence, and death.
Yes, it was a scary show, and before you go any farther; just think about what exactly your children may be watching or video gaming.
Growth & Development
I had mentioned Growth and Development, because I couldn’t help but wonder what kind of outcome these horror flicks could have the growth of her development now and even possibly the future. While reading through “Engaging Children’s Minds: The Project Approach” by Lillian Katz and Sylvia C. Chard, stated that while little exposure to horror movies and shows may not effect the child noticeably at that moment, it does not mean the they would not have deleterious effect later on in life. IF and only if they were exposed more frequent.
More frequent…….???? What or who is to say is more frequent? Is frequent on a daily? Or maybe its weekly, or could this mean monthly? My personal definition of frequent is to be active with the subject at hand for 2 to 3 times a week, continuisly for months.
During the age 2 years to 5 years, it is said at this time is where most of the toddlers cognitive development skills are really peaked. Meaning they pick things up quickly or what they have learned may stick with them. Now knowing that the “horror” “yikes” “scary” “monster” or even “spooky” shows that we introduce to her could have a small effect on her. Even with all the the good, fun, delightful things we do as a family there is a chance of a small foggy dust cloud that can still taint all the good we do.
Lessons Learned, Round 2 Begins!
Once the lazy day was over, my child was wired with lots of energy! This is because she had no outlet all day. She didn’t take a nap because she had so much energy, but at 930 pm after the day was done, we laid down and she crashed. She didn’t have any scary dreams, thank the heavens, but she was some what restless.
Parenting is hard, its scary. I’m not perfect but something that I have taken away from todays lessons, and other days (yes there had been other lazy days) is that I did learn something. What is it I learned you may ask, well:
1. Age Appropriate, one site I found that I am very much enjoying, commonsensemedia.org
2. No more scary, yikes, monsters, spooky binges
3. IF (and ONLY IF) she is around and sees something, TALK TO HER about it. Calm my kiddo down. Explain its not real, and possibly Redirect the attention elsewhere (i.e. coloring, building blocks, or reading a book)
4. Getting ready for bed, let her pick out her favorite book, read it and then sing a sweet lullaby to help the yikes go away.
5. LOTS OF HUGS, KISSES, AND SNUGGLES
Television is a funny thing. We get lost in different world through it, and forget to be in the world we are in now. Being in the moment we live. When you take a lazy day sometimes you miss out on the conversations you could have had, the memories you could have made.
Lazy days are good, but maybe not a full lazy day in front of the TV. Mix it up and creat family fun activities. Build a fort, play hide and play a board game or bake some cookies. Have some family fun at home.