Switch on the TV - it is good for you and your family!

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Do you use TV to entertain your younger kids when trying to deal with preparations for the school run

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TV can be good for you and your toddler

Any mother with school age kids plus a toddler knows only too well the trials and tribulations of the morning routine. I use the word 'routine' loosely as my routine used to descend into organised chaos within the first 30 minutes of everyone getting up.

I aim to start each day thinking I am so blessed to have my children, please god let me be more patient today than yesterday. Please do not let me go bananas when my son comes down stairs with his school jumper on back to front, mismatched socks and trousers which are way too short (Yes my son does grow overnight). No matter how well prepared you are or how much planning you put into the morning routine, always expect the unexpected! From toddler tantrums to sibling rivalry, from shouting matches to whingeing for no reason, from teeth not being brushed properly to refusal to eat the healthy breakfast..all in all this can amount to a major headache, unnecessary tension for the mother and the need to raise your voice when let's face it most of us are yet to have the first coffee or tea to truly wake us up.

I used to try not to have the television on in the morning and I didn't as we would all be rushing about getting ready to leave the house by a specific time in order not to miss the school bell or the train to work.

Life changes and my third child arrives. Once she is in a position to negotiate and play on the manic atmosphere surrounding her she makes the most of joining in. "Me wanna milky, me wanna cereal (so she can pour it over the floor), me wanna huggy mummy, please mummy huggy, MUMMY HUGGY PLEASSSSSSSSSSE"

Phew - too much - I was reaching boiling point and it was total unnecessary. Against my beliefs of needing TV on in the morning I was dashing into my front room to find the remote to get on some kids TV programme. And there he was. The King. The Master of calm. The Peacemaker.

People all over the world refer to him as Mickey Mouse but not me. I see him as an angel mouse sent down to alleviate my stress levels from inducing a premature heart attack from the chaotic surroundings I increasingly found myself in.

Along with his buddies they bring an air of calm and well-being to me. Me a woman fast approaching 40 whose new (and only) excitement in the morning is that of a mouse in red shorts and extremely large ears.

Along with his buddies they enchant my toddler, who content with some fruit and the aforementioned "milky" sits (and at times dances) taking in every word of the "mouse".

Never in my decade as a mother have I seen this reaction to Mickey, my first two children never really noticed him and even during trips to disneyland, they seemed rather unimpressed and somewhat puzzled by a giant mouse trying to hug them.

No Mickey has had a face lift, botox something like that as he is looking 10 years younger and the clubhouse is magical. The colour, music and interaction on Disney Junior is fab and a real draw for my youngest.

Mickey Mouse has finally come into his own for me. Having met him in person and visited his house I feel a certain connection with him and what he can do to entertain my toddler so there I leave him to it. 15 (sometimes 20) minutes of uninterrupted calm to ensure my school kids are dressed, fed, teeth brushed, bag packed and out the door. When the door slams shut I breathe out and almost skip through to the front room to join my youngest for what has become my morning fitness routine "the hot dog" dance. Those with grandkids or younger children at home will know the drill. On your feet and hot dog, hot dog, hot diggity dog! In my PJ's and slippers I can then truly start the day knowing I have managed to keep the incensed feelings of frustration and anger at bay, I have kept a lid on my temper and retained (almost) my sanity for another morning, at least.

Although the experts or should I call them "they" as we always hear ""they" say this" or ""they say that" about TV for kids not being the best thing and how it should not be regarded as an electronic babysitter, I for one, totally agree. I'd rather be sitting playing or reading or doing jigsaws with my children, however come on, everything in moderation folks and when it keeps everyone focused and on track to be where we all need to be by a certain time in the morning, then I'm all for it!

So to all my fellow mums trying to cope with the pressure of the morning school run with younger ones in tow, all I say is if you haven't tried him out, give him a go. Let Mickey Mouse into your front room in the morning. Don't deprive yourself of some precious time to smooth out the ruffles of this stressful hour. Your days and life are busy enough and let's face it, we ain't getting a break we are simply doing what we need to do without unnecessary "noise" pushing us over the edge.

At the very least, after a session with Mickey Mouse, your little one will be up dancing or will learn a new number, colour, word or day of the week - guaranteed.

Better than nothing and a lot more than what I can offer my youngest during the busiest and most frenetic hour of my day! Beats shouting, fighting, temper tantrums or a wild combination of these any day.

Mickey Mouse - We Mums salute you (and you too Minnie!).

Thank you Disney. 



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