This post was literally requested by a few sweet mommies but I didn’t know how to post our weird screen time story. Finally I took courage and wrote down the most of it.
? When Moh turned one year, I wanted to introduce screen time to her before this she would only see tv as a device which turns on at Nana-Nani’s place, where Nanu would make her dance on some dhinchak numbers.
? Believe me when I say, I had a tough time while introducing her screen time?. I had a word with @disha_mybabydiaries and asked if Raisha watches the tv, I wanted to be sure about “is it my baby who doesn’t show interest in tv or this happens with all the babies of this age?”.
? Moh always heard all the rhymes in our @jblaudio speakers and would dance with it, but it required my attention. I wanted a few minutes to sip my coffee ☕️ and not worry about her. It would happen only if she would watch tv with interest.
? In order to generate her interest I started singing and watching rhymes with her. Slowly we started watching @officialpeppa for straight one hour. I would explain, clap, laugh and giggle with Moh. This made Moh habitual to this show but only when I sit with her. If I wouldn’t show my interest or work on something else. Moh used to do things to grab my attention. In our old house tv switch was on her reach, so she would go and play switch on switch off game to grab my attention.
? After this I decided if I am not getting what I want then let’s not show her tv for that one hour as well. Instead let’s plan activities.
? This went well for two months and then all the shifting happened and Moh went to visit Nana Nani without us. Here she was introduced to YouTube videos on a mobile phone by neighbour kids (they wanted her to be happy). When I saw her again in 10 days she was completely changed; less interested in playing, walking, going to garden and socialising. Forget about the interest in activities. I was sure about doing screen free parenting now.
? I limited her screen time on TV. Strictly No Mobile.
? Soon we came back home and I started planning my day in advance so that she wouldn’t feel the need of screen time.
? I had to be on my toes but I saw a tremendous change in Moh. She was more active, enthusiastic to learn new things & listen us and started loving her walks, garden time again.
? This month I got some assignments with very close timelines. I needed more than 2 hours (her nap duration) to work. I turned on tv from 11 AM to 11:30 and 3:00 PM to 4 PM.
? At this stage Moh understands that she can watch it only for limited time. When I turn off TV She herself says “ab evening me on karenge”. This understanding wasn’t there when she used to watch videos on phone, that happened only for a few days but I saw a very bad picture of our future. Now I am happy that I did screen free parenting for more than 2 months. And I can do it again if I see the need otherwise we are happy with our limited screen time which is one and half hour now. It allows me to check my emails and work on my laptop.
Lessons I learned and precautions I took during screen free parenting days-
❣️ Being on my toes
❣️Planning all the activities in advance
❣️ Increasing outdoor play time
❣️ Keep some favourite activities in baby ‘s reach like Moh picks up Play-Doh or colours when she wants
❣️ Talking and discussing with family members so that they stay aligned with my plans. We visited my home-town in December and January and we made it without screen time.
Lessons I learned and precautions I take during limited screen time days-
❣️ Avoiding small screens
❣️ Letting the kid understand that there is a limited time
❣️Choosing the shows or YouTube videos wisely
❣️ Don’t mix it, don’t feed during screen time or don’t do any activity. Do it without screen time so that she will enjoy the food as much as she enjoys any activity or watching tv.
❣️ Choose educational videos very carefully, see if they are aligned with what I am already teaching to her.