We all know that screen time in excess can be harmful to infants and toddlers, and that it isn’t great for older children either. And I would guess that there aren’t too many parents out there that want their children to struggle with things like obesity, ADHD or cognitive and language development.
So why are so many young children still getting so much screen time? Well, because parents are tired!
Caregiving—especially quality caregiving—requires a ridiculous amount of attention, patience and energy. It’s totally understandable to want a few moments of peace every day to (gasp!) use the bathroom alone.
So, are a few minutes of television going to irrevocably damage your child? Of course not. But what if you could have a break without using the TV or your iPhone to entertain your little one?
Luckily there IS a way to have a low media (or media free) child without losing your mind. The answer is…
Self-directed or independent play is play chosen, initiated and directed by the child. When your child is able to engage in independent play, being with your child becomes less demanding. You are no longer the entertainment. You can sit back and just observe what your child is exploring. You may be able to read, check your email, work, eat chocolate—whatever—and all while he plays and explores. What a relief!