Monday, April 30, 2012

Screen Free Week

This week is Screen Free Week, a week were you are supposed to turn off your tv, computer, and now the apps and anything else your smartphone can do other then call or text. It is supposed to get kids and adults to do other things. As you can see being online I am not participating. I don't think many people are since this is the first year since its start I have not seen is publicized much. Maybe with all the apps and smartphones we have gone to far for screen free?
While in theory I think it is a great idea one week of taking the screen away isn't going to help if rules are not set about electronics. Most people will go right back to being a tv addict, using their "crackberry" all day long or playing in an ipad any downtime they get. I am pretty anti-tv, but I do let Liv watch some tv. PBS shows are usually what I will put on. I find them simple and informative. And often I will use ideas on some shows for learning at home. Last week we watched a Curious George were he planted carrots and had a hard time waiting for them to grow. We just happened to plant carrots several days before and Liv had not been impressed with our garden so far. But after watching this George it lit a little fire in her. Seeing what will happen over the course of months in a 15 minute show helped her realize that those seeds will be carrots one day. She now get very excited to water the garden and check on our slowly growing vegetables. I really enjoy doing outdoor learning at this age so I often find Curious George and the Cat in the Hat Knows A lot About That are often about nature and will get Liv excited to do more outdoor activities like gardening, feeding birds, picking weeds, composting and other things that usually might be too "boring" or slow moving for a toddler. She learns a little from the show and I re-enforce the learning with actives and expand on it. For a toddler just turning off the tv for a week will not teach her anything about how tv and the internet can be addictive and a huge drain, but placing limits now will help teach her that so hopefully we won't feel the need for screen-free weeks. The APA recommends no more then 2 hours of tv and it is a rare day we even reach that. Some days we watch none and at the higher end we will watch an hour or so. I feel its all about balance. PBS doesn't have commercials for toys or fast food, which for me its the commercials that bother me most about children's programming. Young children are so impressionable at this age. They can not tell the difference often from where the show ends and the commercials begin. This is another reason why I love just getting DVDs from the library. Liv has been asking for Dora. Sad part she realized Dora is a cartoon from seeing her on swim diapers. She asked to watch the girl on her diapers. Commercialism at its best. My 2 year old knows that if its on a diaper its probably a show on tv. So to satisfy her Dora fix I get a Dora dvd from the library so I won't subject her to more commercials on Nick. Props to those who are going screen-free, and then you are probably not reading this anyway. I will keep my tv on, just turned to channel 13 for an hour a day :)

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