PostHeaderIcon TV, Will You Baby-sit My Kids?

By Terez Howard

Is this preposterous? Or, is this OK?

As a freelance writing mother, it’s an understatement to say that time is limited. We write early in the morning before our kids wake up. We write during naptime, if there is one. We write into the wee hours of the night. When you have to meet a deadline, would you consider sticking your kid in front of a TV while you finish your work?

I admit it. I’ve done it. I once utilized early morning and nap time, but it was not enough. When it came to crunch time and my family planned to go out of town the next day, I had to get the job done with TV as my sitter.

So if we’re going to let the television baby-sit our kids, we’re going to have to do it right.

  1. Do not let the TV be a daily sitter.
  2. When your children do watch TV while you work, be aware of what they’re watching by working in the same room or only letting them watch DVDs. Don’t give them free reign of the remote.
  3. Check on a toddler regularly while they watch TV to make sure she isn’t changing channels or in need of a bathroom break or snack.
  4. If they’ve had enough TV, don’t force more on them. Stop staring at your computer screen.

Television isn’t the only immersing activity available for children. If your kid can read, open their eyes to the wonderful world of books. If you have a toddler, like me, give them books that read for them. I really like LeapFrog products because they’re educational and interactive. Art projects, puzzles and blocks can hold some children’s attention just as well as a 30-minute episode of Backyardigans. Get creative. Make a treasure hunt in your family room. Bring in a sand table and have an archaeological dig.

If time is not on your side (and it never is), get the job done by first tending to your primary job as a mother.

2 Responses to “TV, Will You Baby-sit My Kids?”

  • Juan says:

    Very good points. Perhaps young children could be given the illusion of helping accomplish a given task. For instance, the children I am teaching presently are doing a “very important” assignment on earthquakes, but I am quite sure their “regular” teacher is just attempting to tranquilize them for the substitiute…

    It is also important for children and adults to sleep… a lot. That is why a great group activity is a sleep race. Whoever falls asleep first is the winner. If you loose… freedom to work perhaps… etc…

  • tehoward says:

    I love a good sleep race! I hope my daughter always would win!

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