I wrote an article for Scary Mommy a month ago about taking TV away from my kids “forever” after I lost my temper one afternoon. It was published this morning. You can read it HERE (but if you are offended by colorful language, just skip it). Since I wrote the article a month ago, I wanted to give a present-day update on our TV habits since then.
We made it about 7 weeks with no TV/screens at all. As the days passed, it really did get easier. The kids stopped asking for TV completely, and the good habits I wrote about in the article continued. We were plowing through piles of books, drawing and creating like crazy, and playing outside more than ever.
But then, keeping TV away from the kids started to be more about just making it another day than actually benefitting them. And in some moments of the day, it really was punishing me. Charlotte has long since forgotten about the actual incident that got it taken away from her to begin with, and as all parents of young kids know, there are just times when you need space and for the kids to just be quiet. And still. In particular, when Grayson has therapy, I need the kids to be calm and out of his space- and a digital babysitter is a lot cheaper than a human one.
So, for about a week now, we’ve been letting the kids watch about 1 movie or show a day that we choose. We had our Monster party last week and they’ve watched several Christmas specials. What I didn’t expect was how little they would care about what was on the screen. They detoxed, reset, and now the TV just doesn’t hold the appeal it used to. One day last week, I had put on a movie, gone to do something in my bedroom for a few minutes, and came out to this:
These sweet babies were more interested in their library books than their movie (insert all the heart-eye emojis here).
So yes, kids TV is a part of our lives again, but a much smaller part. I’m looking forward to Christmas movies and snuggles with my babies this month. And creepy YouTube toy videos are still banned (forever! for real!). I actually came across this article last month as it was being shared around social media and it totally freaked me out. It’s long read and not very well written, but has some crucial information for parents of young kids on YouTube.
In my case, a less than stellar parenting moment actually turned into a really good change for our family. But I certainly will be more mindful of the realistic implications of my punishments from now on.
How not to watch TV