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!

Advertisements

Art of a Conversation: Toddler Edition

1484700_874513519277622_2310006533952354558_n

^^^ Look at the Blue’s Clues Shirt^^^

My sweet little barely eighteen month son has quite the vocabulary. Some of his favorite words include Sister (for our cat), Go, Yes, Dani, Mama, and Yum. Through the day he likes to shock me by spitting out some pretty great words such as hamburger and uncle. The best for me though? The fact that, at least 40% of the time, he has the phrase “Thank You” down pat for when someone gives him something. Warms my heart right up.

Let’s be realistic though. A few words here and there does not a conversation make. Watching Caleb watch Blue’s Clues though, showed me just how well he grasps what a conversation is. In the show Steve (or Joe) goes about it essentially the same way; asking questions that the viewer can answer. He’d say, “You see a clue? Where?” Caleb would respond by loudly babbling and pointing at the screen. It hit me that what he was doing WAS having a conversation. Someone said something to him, he responded and waited for the someone to say something else back to him. It dawned on me just how smart that really was. Words are important of course, but being able to have a proper conversation, to me at least, is just as important. So… yay!

Mommi’s TV Indulgence

Two days ago I wrote about shows that are great for children. It got me thinking about the tv that I watch and I know there are going to be some people out there asking, when do you have time for this now that you are a mom, but I make time. It’s nice to relax, do nothing, and watch someone else live. So, here are my three favorite tv shows and why.

law-order-svu-law-and-order-svu-30926949-1280-1024

Now I know I’m not alone. I laugh hysterically on mommy facebook groups when the question of tv comes up. At least 90% of people will agree  that Law & Order SVU is the best show out there. People like to get angry. It’s just human nature. For a mother, even just a woman, watching this show makes them feel all the feels. I have watched every single episode of this show. It’s one of those things where you hate watching it because it’s so depressing and infuriating but the characters are remarkable and well developed. Plus, for the most part, each episode does have a happy moment or two that makes if feel like they are winning despite it all.

hot-in-cleveland

Now for the old lady in me! I swear that despite I have nothing in common with these ladies, I watch and feel like I can completely relate. It’s great though. They are successful women who have a hard time with love and other harder parts of life. It’s nice to see someone that age, the age I often feel, not have it all together. Over all it’s got a great message on friendship and working hard to be happy but also that living simply is okay.

degrassi_12

And for the teenager in me. I have been watching this show for at least six years now. It keeps me feeling young but also shows me how happy, normal, and mature my life has become. It’s one of those things where the show is so ridiculous and crazy that it makes you feel better about your not so ridiculous and crazy life. I’ve seen all but the last two seasons of the ORIGINAL Degrassi High. Either way, I totally recommend. The first four or five seasons was the best. Degrassi Goes Hollywood was amazing. It’s all in good fun though.

Thanks for Reading!

Great Television Shows for Babies, Children, and You!

I’ve heard a lot of people say that television is bad for children. Well fine, but putting my child in the living room with an episode of one of these four shows so I can get dinner done is a wonderful advantage to having a tv. None the less, my son only cares to watch one episode at a time. At least there are these wonderful shows I can trust to show my child only things I would want him to see.

cp_FWB_MMCH_20120926

Personally, Mickey Mouse isn’t my all time favorite show but my son is in LOVE with it. He picked up a Mickey Mouse stuffy at a store and ever sense he’s been all about Mickey. That’s okay though because Mickey and the gang have a million wonderful things to teach him. To start with, Toodles is this amazing tool that gives four options to help them along the way. This teaches children to make great connections. Oh we need to jump, I need something to jump, an option is a trampoline. Oh trampolines are made for jumping. On top of that, the air of friendship is a constant theme. They are always trying to help each other, including Pete. Pete is the “bad” guy. He is selfish and always putting himself first. The club helps him realize that friendship and working together is so much better. Each episode is like a scavenger hunt. They need to help each other get something done in order to do the hot dog dance at the end of the day. That song will be stuck in your head but it’s worth it with all the great morals your child can pull from Mickey and friends.

banner_1370

Where as Mickey was something my son picked on his own, Blue’s Clues was mama’s, my, favorite children’s show. I’ve decorated his whole room with Blue and her pals. He’s got a dozen stuffys. Although he prefers Mickey, Blue is another show that grabs his attention right away. He’ll sit down in his rocking chair and really relax with an episode. This is a great one for younger kids because it’s incredibly repetitive. You have to find three clues, write them in Steve/Joe’s notebook, sit down in their thinking chair and think, think, thinkkkkkkk. Cause when we use our mind, take a step at a time, we can do anything that we want to do! Also known as, Steve or the newer host Joe asks Blue what she wants to do today, with a general theme like bed time, shapes, music, or school, and Blue answers by giving three clues marked by Paw Prints. Thanks to Amazon Prime, which hosts every episode, Caleb gets to watch this almost daily. Along with this 1, 2, 3 mentality of figuring things out, Blue’s Clues is also a great teacher for basic sign language. Think, thank you, come on, and a made up sign for Blue is used often. As a home where sign is not necessarily used but still supported, I greatly appreciate the incorporation of it in Blue’s Clues. I think something that draws children in is the idea of a real person with the cartoon characters. Either way, I highly recommend this.

wonderpets

Oh the Wonder Pets. This is another one with a song that will be very much stuck in your head, and it isn’t even that good a song. On the other hand I love this show for it’s pushiness about teamwork, taking turns, and helping animals. Then on top of it you get to see all these common and some uncommon animals and the sounds they make. It’s wonderful. My little sister had an obsession with celery after watching this show as a toddler. Who doesn’t want a kid with healthy eating habits? It’s a little far fetched and less entertaining over all than the other two shows but it’s still something I can recommend for it’s message.

9324

This one is a little different. I recommend this not only for the child but for the parent. This show has a beautiful attachment parenting and gentle discipline outlook. A specific example is this episode where Caillou has outgrown a shirt that a family member gave to him. His mother tried to take it to give his sister. When he protested she gave it back. He tried to wear it, realized it didn’t fit, and put it on a teddy bear instead of giving it to his sister. I’ve seen people criticize this episode and say the mom should have taken it and called it good. I look at it very differently. By not taking it, letting him realize that he can grow out of things, be respected that it is HIS shirt and his property and not have something belonging to him taken away, he learns that his mother respects what is his instead of learning she is a mean person who takes what is his, doesn’t care, and when he see’s his sister wearing it being even more mad. This approach is beautiful and shows that good things can come out of not saying no once in a while. Overall the show is about growing up, gaining responsibilities, and being creative. There are a few episodes, like the one about the monsters under the bed, I would prefer my son not to watch but over all it shouldn’t be an issue and for the parents to watch it with their kiddos would benefit them both.

Thank You For Reading!

Kathy Griffin Takes My Breath Away!

post_image-100106M1_GRIFFIN_B-GR_07

     Confessions! Well, I have a very bad obsession with Law and Order: SVU. I don’t watch it in order though and I really just watch it on Netflix. L&O:svu is a rather serious show and I always try to figure the episodes out. Tonight though, I can’t stop laughing. This episode is called P.C and the description is very mundane. Women from lesbian community is found murdered. That’s it. 

     It starts off like any episode. They find the lady, she’s bleeding out, gets sent to the hospital, then she dies. First they bring in all these vampires and think the main guy killed her, but he doesn’t. That story ends there. Then… She’s a Jane Doe so they put up all these flyers trying to find out who she is… That’s where my mind is blown. All these women walk in carrying the flyers and the captain, Stabler, and Benson are standing there like, “Can someone say something please?” All of a sudden, KATHY GRIFFIN walks through the crowd! From that moment I could not breathe, I was laughing so hard. Everything she said was just SO Kathy Griffin! I swear it was all improv. I’m a strong supporter of the GLBTQIA community and she is as well but this episode was hillarious. It’s hard to take anything serious when it comes out of her mouth. 

     I am trying to keep this blog clean… so please, just go watch this episode. You wont be able to contain yourself!