This TikTok parent shared how she avoided exposing her son to screen time until the age of 2 by having him help out with chores, challenging him to go outside, and normalizing being bored!
Lauren Mejia (@motherhoodandmontessori) is a parent and TikToker who is a proponent of Montessori education and has a Masters degree in child development. Lauren shares parenting advice on TikTok, along with plenty of videos of her adorable toddler son, Braxton. In a recent video, Lauren revealed how she managed to avoid screen time with Braxton until he was 2 years old!
The video begins with a shot of Braxton wandering around a park, looking at plants and playing with water in a fountain. A caption reads, “How we did no screen time until 2.”
First, Lauren explains, she involved Braxton in household chores. Rather than leaving Braxton to play by himself or setting him up with an iPad, Lauren reveals that she allowed Braxton to help her around the house. In the shot, she holds Braxton in her arms and helps him pour sauce onto a plate of pasta.
Second, Lauren explains that Braxton participated in a “1,000 hours outside challenge,” in which he spent 1,000 hours playing outside. She illustrates this point by showing Braxton joyfully kicking a soccer ball in the family’s backyard.
Third, she exposed Braxton to “sensory play and open-ended toys.” Lauren shows off a homemade sensory bin, filled with everything from coffee beans to plastic skulls. Braxton sits on the floor next to the sensory bin and is fully absorbed in picking up coffee beans with a spoon.
Fourth, Lauren and Braxton followed a “consistent schedule and routine.” Lauren illustrates this point by showing Braxton wearing a helmet and riding a scooter around a skatepark.
Finally, and perhaps most importantly, Lauren explains that she “normalized being bored and creative with what we have.” Rather than seek to entertain Braxton 100% of the time, Lauren allowed him to spend time using his imagination and finding his own ways to play.
The video ends with a shot of the creative toddler playing a make-believe game with a stuffed animal.
Viewers applauded Lauren’s parenting advice!
“I love that you said, ‘Normalize being bored.’ I think it’s wild to think that kids need entertainment 24/7. Excessive screen time is unhealthy,” wrote one viewer.
“The funny thing is, this isn’t crazy! It’s a normal childhood,” commented another viewer.
“Huge flex. Honestly, you changed his brain wiring for the better forever,” wrote another TikToker.
Avoiding screen time with your toddler entirely might not be possible for everyone, but research has found that limiting screen time for young kids can have real cognitive benefits!
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