I'm an Organizing Junkie is hosting a 30-Day Organizational Challenge. This inspired me to do my own 30-Day Challenge, but this one's called the "30-Day No TV Challenge". I realized that I began to use the TV too much as DearDaughter's baby-sitter. Sometimes DearDaughter would be in front of the TV for as much as 4 hours a day and she's only 16 months old!!! The American Academy of Pediatrics recommend that children under 2 years old watch NO TV at all. Therefore, I have decided that I will no longer depend on the TV to "entertain" DearDaughter and that I will have to work harder to discipline myself and structure my time and DearDaughter's time better.
I will not stop the TV altogether though. DearDaughter enjoys 2 shows, It's a Big World and Sesame Street, on PBS. Therefore, I will still allow her to watch 1 hour's worth of TV in the morning. I have also found that these 2 shows are very educational and when I watch these shows with her, we have a lot of fun "learning" together.
My first day of the challenge was Wednesday, April 4th.
7:30 - 8:00 - Breakfast
8:00 -8:30 - Art Time
8:30 - 9:30 - TV Time
9:30 - 9:50 - Bath Time
9:50 - 10:15 - Mommy Time (read and sing)
10:15 - 11:30 - Nap/Playpen Time
11:30 - 12:00 - Lunch Time
12:00 - 1:00 - Run Errands
1:00 - 1:30 - Music Time
1:30 - 2:00 - Imagination Time (role play with doll)
2:00 - 2:30 - Snack Time (free to play whatever)
2:30 - 3:15 - Mommy Time (read and sing)
3:15 - 4:30 - Nap/Playpen Time
4:30 - 5:00 - Exercise Ball Time
5:30 - 6:00 - Firestation toy Time/Free Time
6:00 - 6:30 - Dinner Time
6:30 - Bed Time (Night Night)
I found that DearDaughter was happier with the structured day and though it looks like everything was scheduled, it really wasn't. Before this challenge, I would literally leave DearDaughter out on her own in the living room to figure out how to keep herself entertained while I do a house chore. What she'd do then is roam around the house and whatever she could get her hands into, she'd take stuff out and leave a mess. I've found that an activity can keep DearDaughter occupied for about 30 minutes. So, if I spend the first 5-10 minutes working on an activity with her, I can leave her for the next 20-25 minutes on her own to do a house chore. Then, when she's done with one activity, I'd put it away and take out the next one. It actually helped her know what she's doing and she doesn't have to find ways to keep herself entertained. I will not always follow the schedule above. It's just an example of how the day ran. The main lesson I've learned so far is that DearDaughter enjoys this structure and she wasn't as fussy. As the days go on, I will post updates.
NOTE: I hope I am not "judged" as a bad mother for allowing that much TV time for DearDaughter. In the beginning I was really disciplined about no TV for DearDaughter at all. Then, I started with a half hour and it seemed ok, then it extended to an hour, until it got out of control because I found that I was getting more done. I realized that it was time to shut off the TV when DearDaughter fussed all the time. I realized that she was fussing because I was actually neglecting her needs. Therefore, the 30 Day Challenge was just a great motivational tool to kick start this new habit.