As a working mom of three, it’s always challenging to strike the balance between working-from-home and entertaining the kids after school. I’ve been quite vocal about the fact that I prefer to be office-based, so that my work and home life remain more compartmentalized. I often have late afternoon meetings and it can be quite a challenge to split myself between both of these key roles in my life.
The DStv School of Laughter has made both entertaining and educating children so much easier, through a thoughtful selection of children’s content, both on television and offline.
The first “WIN” for me is being able to have a variety of choices for all three of my children, who are aged between 20 months and 12 years old. With a big age-gap, it can be tricky to find something for everyone, without the squabbles. When my youngest two come home from play-school, they have a snack and then have a bit of TV time together before they play outside and bath. Our default channel is Disney Junior (channel 309) and it’s been that way for a few years now, as it was the channel my nanny would always switch on from the time Khumo was small and now we’ve come full circle with Kgosi, the baby of the family, now enjoying it as well.
Getting three kids ready in the morning is not a task for the faint-hearted and being able to have songs to sing-along and dance to, is great leverage for this Mama.
Khumo is my five year old, she’s a true princess and Disney fan – often requesting us to strictly call her Elsa. If you follow our family on Instagram, you would have seen her heading to school in a full-on Elsa costume numerous times in our stories.
The shows she enjoys are Mira Royal Detective and Puppy Dog Pals on Disney Junior as well as Who Am I on ZooMoo (channel 314).
Friendship, curiosity and kindness are the golden threads I notice across the channels. I find these lessons crucial as they navigate their toddler years.
With Kgosi just having started at creche in January and Khumo being in her last year of Creche, one of my priorities is for them to learn to value others, embrace what makes them unique and stay creative and curious about the world they live in.
On the other hand, I have a pre-teen as well, my twelve year old son, Lesedi. He’s constantly changing his mind about the things he loves and at the moment he’s into art and exploring the world of virtual reality; so it’s no surprise that he loves telling us about the experiments he catches on Da Vinci (channel 318) and I love that he isn’t shy to add his own flair to them to make them work for him. I believe that children benefit from failure, trial and error so this is a platform that works well. It gives him complete creative freedom with a safe space to fail safely and try again.
And finally, as a family, we always look forward to the exclusive movie premieres whenever they arise, because we can always catch them together and make an occasion of it. Our favourite ritual is making popcorn and laying blankets and pillows on the floor to watch movies together. I know it may seem small now, but they will look back on these years with pride much much later on.
To strike the balance with screen time, we can always find exciting downloadable printables and activities like colouring-sheets and crafts on the DStv website. It helps to have a centra go-to resource when I am pressed for time and can’t scroll through tons of online searches, while I also try and fit in some work.
My favourite thing has to be the overall life-lessons that children can draw from the shows.
I want my children to believe that everything they dream about, is within reach, if they work hard, value their community (friends) and the environment and work alongside others to achieve their goals.
Disclaimer: This post was done in collaboration with DStv. As usual, all opinions and content are my own.
Modern Zulu Mom