There is no one-size-fits-all approach to parenting and what matters most is creating a fulfilling and engaging experience for both children and adults.
Parenting is not an easy task as everything a parent does or says is looked at from a microscopic view. People have different opinions on several parenting styles measuring it through their lens of right and wrong. This is what happened to Somer Agnor—who goes by @studiosomer on TikTok when she shared a unique perspective on children's museums. She offers a different approach to minimize the sensory overload that frequently comes with children's museums while still giving her kids worthwhile educational experiences. Agnor, a mother of two, started a discourse among parents when she shared in her video why she prefers history and art museums over more conventional children's museums.
Agnor, who visited the history museum with her three-month-old infant and her 2.5-year-old toddler, explained her decision. She makes a number of strong reasons in support of her choice. The first and most important reason is that the art and history museums provide less sensory stimulation than the conventional children's museums. She notes, "It's so much less stimulating than a typical children's museum. There's less noise, the lights tend to be dimmer and there's less interactive stuff." Although she likes interactive displays, she emphasizes how crucial it is to provide younger toddlers with a more tranquil space so they can concentrate on a single task. This resonates with @shelbihahn, who commented, "Oo I love this!! Shoot I get overstimulated at children’s museums."
Agnor loves interactive museums, but she also thinks regular museums can be just as interesting for adults and kids. She adds, "It's also really nice going to a museum that can be entertaining for the adult and not just your toddler." This method makes museum visits a family bonding activity that suits everyone's interests. Third, Agnor ingeniously includes strolling into her family's daily fitness routine by taking advantage of the ample space available at art and history museums.
She emphasizes the significance of creating a quieter environment for smaller toddlers to concentrate on a single activity. She mentions, "Walking around this museum can also count as our daily walk. There's usually always a place to sit down and relax." The convenience of having a calming environment that caters to both adults and children allows for a versatile and relaxed family experience.
Lastly, the cost is just one more thing that draws Somer to these alternative museums. She beams as she says, "This cafe was the perfect place to nurse my baby and I love that the only money we spent was on our lunch because the admission to get in here is free." These are more affordable options for parents because they don't charge entry, in contrast to children's museums. @chameleonmusky points out the cost advantage as well, saying, "Also, the children’s museum would’ve been like $60 and the playground in the Smithsonian is free."
Agnor's distinctive parenting approach and perceptive insights have impacted numerous other mothers and parents. Her video not only attracted a lot of attention but also sparked a number of encouraging remarks and personal anecdotes, showing that her opinions are not isolated. "Yes, and as a babysitter, it's so hard to keep up with multiple kids because they want to go opposite ways," said @mckennagibsonn in agreement. This speaks to the difficulties of supervising small children in the occasionally disorderly setting of children's museums.