Is your iPad and TV making your toddler fussy?

Columbus child care insights for parents

Many parents have been there. You’ve had a long day at work, just picked up your toddler from a Columbus child care center and still have to get dinner on the table and switch a load of laundry. To add to the mix, your child beings throwing a temper tantrum. In order to curb the kicking and screaming, what do you do? Click on the TV or swipe the unlock button on your tablet and hand it to your child. Instant silence. Problem solved, right? Not so fast.

Recent studies have shown a correlation between fussy children and a high amount of media consumption.

“The [study’s] principal investigator, Dr Jenny Radesky, said it’s impossible to tease out the chicken-or-the-egg answer as to whether it’s because parents are using TV and videos to soothe crankier babies, or Columbus daycarewhether the extra media time is creating sleeping and attention problems.”

In this day and age, media is only becoming more popular and convenient. The average child spends approximately eight hours consuming media per day, which is the second longest activity next to sleeping.

Dr. Adam Dewes, a pediatrician at Tidewater Children’s Associates encourages parents to consider these child care tips when it comes to media consumption:

  1. How involved are you during the electronic activity? When children are simply parked in front of the television or handed a tablet, it more or less acts as a pacifier. It’s much better, for example, to use an educational game app with your child in a social, engaging way.
  2. What sort of content is being viewed? For example, eBooks are a better option than cartoons.
  3. Do you practice what you preach? If your kids see you glued to your smartphone or turning on the TV as soon as you get home, they’re more likely to follow your lead.

Limit your children’s screen time by disallowing TV and Internet access in their bedrooms. Like most things, media consumption is perfectly fine in moderation, and when it is used, use it to your child’s benefit.

Alternate activities to TV for children

The key takeaway is to come up with alternatives to soothe your child. Although children do enjoy the light and sound that come from electronic devices, these medias don’t help teach a child to manage their own emotions, and eventually, using TVs and iPads as a way to remedy fussiness becomes a dangerous cycle. Consider some of these alternative suggestions:

  • Involve the kids in chores – While you fold the shirts out of the laundry basket, have your little helper match the socks. While you dust shelves, have your kiddo run a toy vacuum. While you cook, sit your child in their highchair and have him/her identify the colors of the veggies you’re prepping.
  • Make a busy basket—When you find yourself very busy, give your child their busy basket, filled with books, puzzles and toys.
  • Play storybooks on your iPod or CD player – Give your child an interactive book that comes with a soundtrack and recording of someone reading it to them. Shop online for some here.

How can your Columbus child care center help?

Choosing a Columbus daycare for you and your family is an important decision. We feel it’s important for children to learn through play and interact with others. When you send your child to Sprout Early Education Center, we encourage kids to explore the environment around them, build relationships and have fun in order to develop and learn.

If you’re interested in enrolling your child in our Downtown Columbus daycare, fill out our application and call us today at 614.233.7776 for a tour.


Photo credit: Wayan Vota via Compfight cc

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