Being a good enough parent is about putting an end to pursuing perfection and comparative parenting. With constant inputs around what we ‘should’ be doing, and even FOMO parenting (yes people, it is a thing), we need to draw the line. Good Enough Parenting to me is about letting go and being human. Read the full post here on SA Mom Blogs where I share perspectives about why we need to let go of the pursuit of perfection and enjoy our families.
Let’s be honest, it is easy to give your child a phone or tablet when you need them to keep themselves occupied. In this digital age kids are surrounded by screens constantly. The AAP and Common Sense Media stresses that it is important to monitor children’s screen time. Although it is important for kids to know how to operate as ‘digital natives’, there are limits that need to be placed on screen time
How much screen time is okay?
All screens are equal
Spending time on a LeapPad, IPhone, and then watching Tv are all considered screen time and need to be added up.
Limited screen time to between 1 – 2 hours max per day
Actively monitor what your kids are up to when watching TV/ screens, and encourage other forms of activity and play as well. Reading, playing games, arts and crafts are more stimulating entertaining for young minds. In our home, we allow Caitlyn (my three year old) mostly free reign on weekends, however we do limit her screen time in the week. To be honest, if its a day turns out to be a heavy TV/ screen day, then we just balance it out.
Be a positive role model
The reality is that when you are watching tv, guess what, your child will want to emulate you. Display positive behaviours such as reading and other forms of activities. Be present and engaged with your child, play together, or read a book together. Invite your child help you with small housework chores. Caitlyn absolutely loves doing the dishes with me (although its more clean up afterwards for me!).
Watch tv together
Make watching movies and programmes with your kids a habit so that it becomes a family activity. Consequently, you will be less likely to use tv as a ‘babysitter’. Watching a movie with Caitlyn on the weekend after Saturday morning activities is a good way to relax.
Hide or disable the screens
Yes I hide the screens! I find in our house it is just better sometimes to not have the phone or laptop in sight. This way we don’t even think about a screen and we end up doing other activities like puzzles, colouring, etc.
I am conscious of my daughter’s screen time, but I am not fanatic about it. If she ends up watching a lot of tv as that’s just how the day turned out, then we just balance out in the next day or two.
What are your thoughts on screen time?
Staying somewhat sane with two kids and a demanding job, requires using my energy wisely, patience and lots of it. My time at home is always focused on: feeding, bathing, cleaning up and making snacks. That’s it. Those are the 4 things that I am doing at any given time at home. Being a mom is the most rewarding aspect of my life, and there certain things I have come to realise I just needed to get over.
These are 5 things that I just had to get over when becoming a mom
#1. NO more sleeping in
Yip not an option any more. When we had one child, there was always at least one morning on a weekend where my husband would take care of my daughter and I could catch an extra hour of sleep until 7am on a weekend. Yip 7 am was sleeping in. Now 7 am is also gone. Forever.
#2. Actually eating at a restaurant
When we get invited to lunch to a place that is not ‘family friendly’ (i.e. no play area) I prepare a game plan which could consist out: LeapPad, colouring book, Showmax on standby, a getaway plan, etc. Come on guys, we need a play area.
#3. Planning a family holiday, sigh…
When planning a trip with the kids, forget about the cute little romantic bed & breakfasts of your youthful past, you need to find a practical self catering unit. You need access to a kitchen to prepare the never ending meals and snacks and enough space for play time, and a washing machine. Wait, isn’t this meant to be a holiday?
#4. You will sit, watch, enjoy and discuss ‘my little pony’ with your kid
Forget about Greys and Game of Thrones. You will sit, watch and enjoy, your kids’ shows with them.
#5 I would not trade these things for anything!
Although its super early on a Saturday morning, when my three year old comes to cuddle in our bed, she has this bright happy smile on her face which is priceless. She is happy to see my husband and I in the morning. When we watch her kiddies show together, I like cuddling with her and listening to her laugh at the jokes. It does not matter what we give up when having kids, the rewards are priceless and infinite. And i would not have it any other way. Below is a picture of me and my girls, on a weekend in cape town, in a practical self catering, ground floor unit 🙂