Quality Screen Time: Is Not Bad, Good Enough?

tiger cake

Alrighty y’all… I’ve got a confession to make. When I get home from a long day of work, I love to enjoy some television. However, with an almost three year old our viewing pleasure is met with something made for, you guessed it, almost three year olds. Let’s be clear, I do not object to this one bit. As a teenager I would watch these shows while I did homework or crocheted, because it’s a relaxing thing to watch and great background noise for a cool down time. The problem, is I’ve become lax on putting quality of these shows over how much my child enjoys them.

Don’t get me wrong, Caleb hasn’t been watching anything “bad.” Jake and the Neverland Pirates, PJ Masks, and some other “kid” shows… nothing really bad right? Well, sadly he’s picked up some less than desirable behaviors from them. From Jake he’s learned about stabbing people and that it hurts, but still has been stabbing me with things, because that’s what a pirate does. From other shows he’s learning to tease other kids, aka he’s got a serious case of nana nana boo… Now are these things the end of the world? No, not really. But, with so many quality shows out there that teach him to treat his friends kindly and educate him when I’m taking a five second break from doing so, why not just lead him to those shows instead?

Which is what led me to putting a ban on all shows besides Signing Time/The Tree Schoolers, Daniel Tiger, Curious George, and the occasional (because he LOVES it) episode of Paw Patrol. Daniel Tiger shows both him and I how to deal with different emotions and his friends. It gives me songs and saying to help him through big emotions, and because he’s seen how they work in the show, they work in real life too. “Grown Ups Come Back” saved us when he started preschool last year. “When you’re feeling mad, like you want to roar…” saves us on a daily bases when he’s getting frustrated. It might take a few rounds but he settles right down. Signing time has helped him learn all of his letters, 140+ signs, colors, and so much more. Curious George helps children learn to be scientists and question everything around them in order to learn about life. Paw Patrol at the very least teaches new words, teamwork, and how people (or pups) are all different.

Caleb is a big fan of the shows I’m letting him watch, in fact when I put on Tigers last night for the first time in probably six months, he was so beyond excited. He kept cheering and thanking me for Tigers. It was as though he was getting to see a friend. This morning, while we were on the bus to my work/his daycare, I asked what he would like for dinner. He told me he wanted a, “Tiger Cake!” So, that’s what he got tonight (see picture above). I’m happy to see him remembering the things that he learned from this incredible show, and hope to see an improvement in his behavior with a lack of negative role models in his life.

What shows do you like for your littles to watch, and why?

Remember, YOU ARE LOVED!

Caleb’s Imagination

Caleb Paw Patrol Name

^^^ Graphic I Made for Caleb to Print and Pin to His Bedroom Door^^^

Imagination is an incredible thing. One of my greatest joys is watching Caleb play pretend. Our living room is over run by a play house, tool bench, and wonderful wooden kitchen. I wanted to be sure that he could explore those interests in full. He’ll make us lots of play food, build things on his fancy tool bench, and he “goes home” to his play house many times a day. I adore watching this, and playing along when he wants me to.

Another area of pretend play that he’s been working on lately involves his toys. It all started with Po the Polar Bear. He received him as a gift around Thanksgiving from a kind man that lives near his preschool. That bear is his best friend, and they have the most intricate conversations. Occasionally they will be in a  “fight” and Caleb won’t want to talk to or be around him. Then we have to mediate their fight. We’ll tell Po to apologize, and tell Caleb that Po still loves him, and then Caleb apologizes and they are back to being friends again.

Of course though, with his new obsession with Paw Patrol, he’s begun putting his Paw Patrol toys into situations, and it’s just too dang adorable. I wanted to share one exchange from him that had me totally in stitches last night.

Caleb had Marshall stuck inside of his boot calling for help, and his plush Chase was heading off to rescue him. Chase said, “Ryder need us!” He was loud, enthusiastic, and oh so cute. Chase finished saving him and he yelled, “We did it! Yay!!!” Then he walked off with them for another “rescue.” I love this child so dang much. His innocence is beautiful, and fills me with joy.

 

Paw Patrol!

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Not the best pictures ever, but these are the best I have right now… and I still love them!

Remember when Caleb was obsessed with Mickey Mouse? Well, that obsession hasn’t ended, but he has a new obsession along with it… and that’s Paw Patrol! Constantly my sweet boy is asking to watch “puppies!”

It all started after a doctor’s appointment. His doctor’s office has a toy machine, and he selected a little puppy toy. He brought that thing with him everywhere for a while, and would talk about puppies randomly through out the day. I remembered hearing about this Paw Patrol show, so I pulled up a clip on YouTube, and it was love at first sight for my sweet boy.

Ever since I’ve been trying to get him more Paw Patrol themed things, because it makes him so happy and joyful. His honest appreciation each time he receives something new is beyond sweet.

On Black Friday Corey found these pajamas at Walmart for cheap, and it was the first Paw Patrol gift Caleb received. Now this child of mine is a total mini me when it comes to clothes. He hates wearing them! If he had the choice, he’d be naked all the time. These pjs on the other hand… he’d prefer to never take them off!

Then for Christmas we were able to get him the stuffy Chase after finding an amazing deal on it. Chase now goes EVERYWHERE with him: school, bed, errands, etc… He also got a little Marshal in his firetruck toy from a wonderful friend of mine. It’s one of his favorite things ever. He also got five episodes of the show off of Amazon, so he could finally watch the actual show instead of just snippets.

Recently someone gifted me a Walmart gift card to buy clothes. After shopping through the website I did find a few things, and ordered them, but I had another $20 left and wanted to spend it on my little love. I ended up ordering him a backpack, sippy cups, and a shirt! The cups came first, and he was so excited. Now everything he wants to drink MUST be in the cup or he won’t drink it. Today the back pack came. I showed it to him, and he was just in awe. He kept running his fingers over the characters and smiling. He really needed a new bag for school, he has been using my diaper bag, so this couldn’t be more perfect. I am excited for the shirt to come next week. It has all of the pups on it, and he’ll really love it I’m sure.

I just love seeing him happy. He doesn’t get a lot of new things, but I really try to get things he’s going to care about and use. I could go to the dollar store and get him new cups or a back pack… but I’d rather spend a little more to get him something that will make his heart explode with happiness and thankfulness. It’s such a beautiful vision for me. I just had to share, because I can’t stop smiling at him hugging his back pack.

Christmas With Littles

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I am so in love with this small human. Watching him “open” gifts was the absolute sweetest thing I’ve ever seen. He was clueless. He would have been completely content with watching his Auntie Pae Pae open her gifts. He didn’t understand why he was being given so many things. He’d open one and just want to play with it instead of opening the next one.

Christmas was really great this year though. We had been so worried the months leading up to it, worrying we wouldn’t have much to get him anything good. When asked what he wanted Santa to bring him, he told us very specifically, “Puppy Chase!” A quick google search showed that we had two options for a plush Chase. There was a really mediocre one for cheap, or a really nice one for $40 that was way out of our budget. We decided on the mediocre one, but didn’t buy it right away. When we went to a local surplus store, called Mardens, we ended up finding a huge blessing. The $40 puppy we wanted so badly to get him was there… for $13!! We snatched it up, and were floating on air till Christmas time.

On top of that awesomeness, one of my kind friends sent us a $35 gift card to Amazon to help make a happy Christmas. We ended up buying laundry detergent, some canned food, a headset for Corey’s Christmas gift, and the Big Book of Booboos from Doc McStuffins for Caleb. Then another kind friend sent Caleb a Marshal in his Fire Engine toy from Paw Patrol. That little Marshal is his favorite thing of all. He hasn’t stopped playing with it!

We were truly blessed, and the day itself was very low key and happy. Family was not stressed, and even my Nana was in a good mood, which never happens.