Friday, June 6, 2014

TV and Parenting

For the last few months my twins have gone to bed with the TV on. It's not a parenting choice that I am proud of. But it was a choice I made to try to survive this season of life with three young kids.

I remember several year ago, before I had twins, watching an episode of Jon and Kate Plus 8. In the episode the 3 toddler girls were going down for a nap in one room with the TV on, and the 3 toddler boys were going down for a nap in another room also with a TV on. I remember thinking, "Why would you let your kids have the TV on during nap time! How are the kids supposed to sleep?" 

Then I had twins and my husband and I spent months in separate rooms each holding a baby to try to get them to go to sleep. Finally we made the switch to the babies learning to go to sleep in their cribs with the (gasp) TV on. I choose an Elmo video we had as the designated "sleepy time" show. I wasn't totally happy with putting them down twice a day in their cribs with Elmo as their babysitter. But it worked. They went to sleep without being held. And my husband and I finally had a few precious minutes of the day without babies in our arms to try to recapture our sanity.

Now that my twins are almost 2 (yikes!), we decided it was time to turn off the TV at bedtime and nap time. We decided they needed to learn to put themselves to sleep on their own. Since we were taking away their TV, I wanted to give them something in return. I got them each a Pillow Pet Dream Lite, which is a cool kind of night light to sleep with. I also started playing some music for them.

The first night of no Elmo was a little tough. Joel went right to sleep. Alyssa cried for awhile. Finally they were both asleep with their new lights. Here they are that first night.....

Since then, we have not had any TV at bedtime. Just music and night lights. Sometimes they cry a little, but mostly Joel and Alyssa can put themselves to sleep just fine. Thankfully I don't think we did any lasting damage to our children by letting them watch TV for several months at bedtime. It was for a short season of our lives, and now we are onto the next season.

I guess I owe an apology to Jon and Kate for using the TV during nap time, LOL.

And I wonder which parenting change we will need to make next!

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