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Parents without house help, how many hours does your child watch TV?(8 Posts)
I have a 18 month daughter, live with my wife, and we have no family in the UK, and no other help to take care of our daughter. I feel that we end up putting Hey Duggee (a cartoon) a lot just so that we are able to do other things (make dinner, prepare bed time, be able to have needed calls, etc..).
How much time, and when do you put your child watching TV to be able to do something that requires your focus? How do you cope without having any other help?
Bonus question: what is the price per hour for some help in Richmond/Kew? Is it worth to have?
My son is 14 months. He watches literally 0 tv. However that is more just because he's simply not intetested in t.v. He's bloody hard work and I don't get much done to be honest until nap time and bedtime each day! I do go to work 3 days a week though when he goes to nursery so that helps.
We also have no family around and it is tough. I fine getting as prepared as possible for the day ahead in the previous evening is the only way we cope. And I use his lunch naptime to sort stuff out too. I only ever make calls etc during naptime or if he's in the pram while we're on a walk. Frequently if he won't play on his own, I have to hold him in one arm while doing a task like getting his lunch ready... and as he's 98th percentile (very heavy!) and I'm pregnant with my second child It's not ideal but it is do-able. I woule use tv a little if my son was interested though but only for 10-20 mins a day until he's over 2 I guess, and only when I felt I really needed it. I've got by without it for so long now though that I probably won't even turn it on again for him until he's around 2.
It is up to you. We didn't have a TV when dd1 and dd2 were that age, so it wasn't an option. We had no family around.
What we had was the lounge was a safe place. The kitchen came off it, and the stairgate was there. So sometimes, in order to get dinner or whatever they did have to stand at the stairgate crying. But they'd be safe.
I would save the TV times for when you really need them to be quiet. So a needed call, yes, getting dinner, not really.
At 18 months, they have a little bit of understanding. Enough to say: I'm making dinner, you need to wait. Pop back/keep a running commentary, but they will get used to you needing to do things. You can begin to let them "help": stirring some ingredients together, peeling a satsuma, sorting the mushrooms type thing. It takes slightly more time, but they love it, and it's really educational for them.
Things like "oh, we need 5 carrots, let's count them 1...2...3...4...5" They're like little sponges and will pick that up.
And definitely they can help for bedtime. Their job is to eg sort out a nappy and choose pyjamas and put them next to the bath, then put the towel next to them. That sort of thing.
There's absolutely nothing wrong with a bit of Hey Duggee. It's the context that's important- tv or iPad all day every day is obviously bad. Mine has screen time in the morning while I feed the baby, shower and dress myself and baby. Then we go out every morning as a minimum so she has lots of time outdoors, playing with other kids, swimming, park, shops etc. In the afternoon sometimes we're still out, sometimes we do reading, baking or art. And sometimes I put the tv on and it stays on for a couple of hours - we watch a bit, play with it in the background, whatever. We need to get stuff done too - for me screen time is immeasurably better than screaming. Both the toddler and I also get tired and need some downtime. She hasn't died yet, it's all good.
Like Witchend we didn't have a telly when dc were that age. Instead we had to be a bit inventive: when someone was cooking dc could have their own little cupboard or box with some safe cookery items (wooden spoons, a plastic bowl) on the floor. And like Witchend we had the lounge as a safe place with a stairgate. And did all that letting-them-get-involved things. In hindsight, we should have done even more of that and carried it on as they grew older.
I am sure some TV is not at all harmful, but I would assume that many people are in exactly the same (or more difficult) situation and manage without much screen time so it is certainly possible. As some previous posters have suggested, by 18M a typical toddler would have increased their functional play tremendously and be very willing to help around the house, help make the beds, help make the bath, or be in the kitchen to help with cooking, etc - it will all probably take double the time, but they are more than willing to help
Hey Duggee is 5 minutes long. Unless you are playing them back to back for hours I wouldn't worry. I think official guidelines aren't really around, as no proper research. But a group run by the NHS speech therapists I went to last year said no more than 2 hours MAX tv / screen a day ( broken into chunks. ) But to make sure they do a mix of activities, get outdoors, park, play with parent, lots of talking to them with no background noise, so don't have your tv on in the background and don't always play music.
But yes, high chair with toys, some
Nursery rhymes on ( no screen) or just talking to them might work for a quick bit of dinner prep. Personally I'm not a fan of let them cry, but each to their own, they do need to learn to entertain themselves but 18 months is very young to do this for more than a few mins.
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