Monday, January 22, 2018
Mommy Mondays: You are what you watch
Let's talk about every parents favorite topic - screen time!
How much is too much?
What are your kids watching?
What do you do with your kids if they're not watching tv/playing on the tablet/ playing video games?
I don't really have the answer to any of these questions. Although I do have a handle on the second one.
I'm a tv kid. I grew up on television. I was rocked to sleep at night lulled by the sounds of the Muppets. I was up early on Saturday mornings to watch Garfield and Friends. At one point in time I knew all the members of The New Mickey Mouse Club.
I also grew up with every new video game system that came out. Mario, Link, shooting at ducks... been there, done that. And I think I turned out alright. I'm not anti-screen time by any means.
With my kids, I think we regulate screen time more than my parents did, but for different reasons.
1) Time. For the most part, my kids don't watch television during the week. Because the only time we're home, they're getting ready for school, eating dinner, or getting ready for bed. And we've found those things go slower with the television on.
2) Attention. Both our kids have their own tablets. Which until recently they have only been given during long road trips and airplane rides. Why? Because when we're in those situations, my children are not easy. I'm so grateful for even those few moments of quiet I can get when they're immersed in their screens. And by limiting them to those situations, I'm able to keep them interested. It's "special" when they only get to use it a couple times a year.
We've revamped a little since Thatkid started kindergarten and stopped napping. On the weekends, or school breaks, he can do some of his school apps on his tablet during Thatbaby's naptime.
3) Access. Although we have a Wii, it hasn't been hooked up since before Thatkid was born. So my kids don't play video games because... they can't.
This makes us sound super strict right? Like we're depriving our kids of fundamentally necessary socially relevant information. So let me reassure you, there are weekends.
Weekends are a free-for-all. On weekends we are running to sports, birthday parties, and play dates, but when we're home? When we're home, chances are those kids are plopped in front of the television. We do movie nights Friday and Saturday nights.
In these instances, we're more concerned with quality over quantity. What they're actually watching. Disney Channel and Nickelodeon play big roles in my house. Scooby Doo is a frequent choice, since Thatboy and I also enjoy it. During F1 season, weekend mornings are often for racing while I try to grab some sleep or miles.
So while I don't have the answers, I think it's somewhere along the lines of finding what works for you and yours. Finding a balance you're comfortable with, and ensuring that it is balanced. For us, that scale may tip heavily on the weekend, but I don't feel guilty about it because I know that it all evens out in the end.