Beyond the Pacifier…

  • We dropped TV shortly after our first baby was born. Several kids and 23 yrs later we still don’t miss it!  I was recently asked by a follower on Facebook, “How did you juggle it all without a distraction for them? Tips would be so appreciated! I hate relying on TV, even good shows….”  Below is my answer:
    • Meeri Nauha:
    •  What ages? When they were really little, I just carried them around with me everywhere, had them in a Johnny Jumpup thing that hung in the doorway, took them on walks in the stroller, visited family when I needed a break but spent most our time at home. As they got older we started investing in age-appropriate puzzles, books and toys.
    • Brio and Playmobile have stood the test of time for us well. Always read to them a lot and had quiet times/nap times pretty well established when I could get meals and cleaning done. As they got older I taught them how to lace finger puppets, then finger knitting, and eventually baking and crafts. Family Fun was a magazine that had great monthly craft ideas for all ages. We also kept a garden and a few pets around that required routine care (bunnies were easy) and I taught them how to do (literally) everything with me.
    • Routines (bath time, nap time, bed times) were always a huge save for me, personally. We kept a subscription to another magazine we liked called Nature Friend that had great ideas for nature walks, art projects, and attracting birds and things like that. Our 16 year old daughter now belongs to Cornell University’s Ornithology Club and keeps a family of African Ringneck doves…probably because of our early activities that came from that magazine. We always had the kids take piano lessons and soccer or dance, had a family membership at OMSI (Oregon Museum of Science and Industry), and were fairly active in a local church.
    • Also….limit sugar!! No loud toys. My advice is to get them used to kind of a quiet routine and environment so they don’t require too much stimulus from an early age on. Videos like Franklin, Kipper the Dog, and Baby Bear were great for those ages when I needed to build some distractions into their day so that I could get a break…especially after they grew away from naptimes. As they got older I just used discretion in choosing movies that were in line with our values and standards and really hung onto a saying I read once that said, “Let home have the greater influence”.
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