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When You Need Screen Time: Sweet Videos for Little Ones

How is everyone doing?

I will start this post by stating the obvious--healthcare workers, emergency responders, essential personnel who keep us fed, deliver our mail, pick up our garbage are all sacrificing so much during this time. Staying at home is nothing in comparison to that.

But if you listened to Brene Brown's recent conversation on comparative suffering or her conversation with David Kessler on grief, we cannot compare our own suffering or anxiety or grief to others. Our experience is just as important, because it belongs to us. And to be a parent of a young child is hard right now, especially if you are a parent working from home. There are no breaks.

Overall, we're doing just fine. I wrote something similar on Instagram recently, but I'll repeat it here. There's a lot that I'm loving about this slower pace of life. No agenda, not schedule, no place to be. Limitless opportunities to use our imagination and find joy in the present moment. In a Ten Percent Happier podcast with Syliva Boostein, she said moments of happiness can fortify you to deal with the difficulties we are all facing. Joy is a necessity, not a luxury right now.

We've been finding joy in slowing down and learning to be still, something I've never been very good at. As a family, we do a lot of front porch sitting and wandering walks, looking for treasures or visiting the neighborhood kitties. Magic can be found in these slow days. And at the same time, Elie and I are consciously committed to giving each other grace when our patience runs thin or our optimism dims. We've been making the best of it.

But sometimes, we need a break. And during those times, I'm thankful for technology. Theo attends a Waldorf school, which discourages the use of screen time at home. Therefore, Theo doesn't watch a lot of videos--he's never seen a full-length movie. On most days, when we need down time from activities, we read a lot of books, he has this storyteller player (which he loves) and we listen to children's stories on Audible. But when we need it, screen time can be a great tool to give us all a break. When he's tired or we're frustrated--or vice versa--I'd rather let him snuggle up on the sofa with a video than have us all end up in tears.

Theo is a very sensitive child, and he has a low tolerance for anything scary. We also prefer we watches videos with sweet story lines and no frenetic music or action. Here are the shows on Theo's watch list, in case you need a break, too. All of these are available on Amazon Prime. If you have others to add to our list, please let me know!

Hang in there, everyone! Big hugs.

Tumble Leaf -- Fig the Fox wakes up every morning to find something in his 'finding place.' Along with his friends, he figures out how to use the object. A sweet story encouraging exploration and imagination.

The Stinky and Dirty Show -- An excavator and a garbage truck go on adventures, always asking themselves, 'what if?' A profile of friendship, working together and creative problem solving.

Pete the Cat -- Based on the children's books, Pete and his friends go on adventures together, and their adventures often include music. The Pete the Cat soundtrack is also great.

Give a Mouse a Cookie -- Based on the Give a Mouse a Cookie book series, Mouse and his friends go on adventures, discovering what will happen next. Also a sweet show about friendship.

Daniel Tiger -- An animated version of Mister Roger's Neighborhood, Daniel works through all of the questions or problems kids encounter in life--from when he's mad at mom to learning to share. It's a good one.

Curious George -- Another series based on the classic children's books, George explores what it means to be curious.

I know that many of Theo's friends also like Wild Kratts, but he thinks it's too scary.

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