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Nanny Screening

Parenting Fail

In the mornings, while I'm running around like a chicken with my head cut off, I let my five-year-old daughter play on the iPad - no, trust me, that's not my fail...



I had a pretty epic parenting fail this week

I recently stumbled across You Tube for Kids.

Brilliant, I don't have to worry too much about what she's watching.

Then I saw "Ted Talks for Kids". I was even more excited!

I chose 'How Sugar Affects the Brain', watched two seconds of it to make sure it was simple enough for a pre-schooler - and then dashed off to slather on face cream and start breakfast.

Now keep in mind, I'm not a laissez-faire parent

I'm a neurotic New Yorker by nature. There is no scooting or biking without her helmet; I carry around a booster seat backpack in case we have to take a cab; I only buy paraben-free, organic, free-range everything. Heck, I've already warned her that she won't be walking to school by herself until her junior year of "college". I am, however, like most working (and non-working) moms, very short on time.

Fifteen minutes later she came downstairs.

Mommy, that was so interesting I watched it three times!

I gave myself a mental pat on the back for my excellent parenting and my heart soared.

Mommy, what's heroin? Thud, my heart landed firmly back in reality...

How do you talk to a five-year-old about heroin?

Do you mention Phillip Seymour Hoffman? Janis Joplin? Show her pictures of Keith Richards? Do I play The Red Hot Chili Peppers' "Under the Bridge" on repeat?

Or, do you tell her it's something very bad and distract her with "Ooh there's a cat in the garden?"

Guess which route I took?

I'm not saying don't talk to your kids about drugs, far from it! However, I like to think that five is too young for the "Don't do smack" talk.

The lesson?

Screen every single thing you let your child watch, either with them or pre-emptively. Because sometimes, even things that start out sweet and innocent - picture warm, gooey cookies - can somehow end in sugar, dopamine, and heroin. Mmmm, I need a cookie.

Sharon, Working Mom and Native New Yorker

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