Screen Time with the Chunks
So I had no idea how hot this topic would be until I talked about it a bit on my Instagram stories. I know its 2018 and the amount of stimulation for kids is out of control. We’re all very aware of it, but I know its something us as parents struggle with when it comes to sanity and survival. As I talked about cutting it out completely, many said they limited their kid's screen time to almost nothing, which is AMAZING! I think even being aware of it as parents is a huge step that many aren’t taking. Let's just be real, we let our kids watch holiday movies and have movie nights. I have so many amazing memories watching shows growing up and spending time with family watching movies - I think screen time can be a great thing, as well as a wonderful resource! Jackson learned his shapes watching a LeapFrog episode, and I think sometimes it can be helpful, but can also be a crutch and a bad habit.
If you are new to the blog, welcome, let's do a quick review of our last year. We’ve pulled Jackson out of public school and decided to homeschool him, have learned quite a bit about Jackson’s special behaviour issues and quirks, and have had to make some big adjustments due to this. It was about a month and a half ago, Jackson started having major meltdowns again to the point of me feeling absolutely defeated. Something had to change, and we found he would have more meltdowns in the afternoon. Now, to be honest, we’re not huge TV people - we only have a TV in our dungeon of a basement and in our bedroom (this is new…). We’ve never had cable, and we watch everything on Netflix. So most we would watch was a show a day, the odd movie night or two. We started noticing his worse days were TV days and if he even looked at an Ipad or Gameboy the day was shot. So we decided to take it all away and try it out for a while.
Two weeks of no screen time went by without a hitch. I had people messaging me asking me how the kids adjusted to the lack of screen time - you guys, it was so easy! For about three days they’d ask to watch a show, play Gameboy, watch the iPad in the car etc. and after that, not a thing. Jackson’s attention span DRASTICALLY CHANGED, and it was pretty good before! We’ve now started a colouring by numbers book which he loves, his creative play with Lego and toys has gotten way longer, and they no longer ask for shows. Long car rides, we would always put the iPad on. Not going to lie, this one was a little more tough for us, and it still is. In the car, they tend to fight more and get on our nerves, but we bring books for them to read and we have to stick it out because I would rather a more annoying 20-minute car ride than temper tantrums. The BIGGEST change we found was certain instances where Jackson would typically have a freak out over a situation, he agreed with us and was overall a happier person! Paul and I would just look at each other with wide eyes and exchange the “whaaaaat..? He’s not freaking out…” looks in total shock. WORTH EVERYTHING.
I’m not going to go into studies and the science behind screen time and kids brains, you can do that research on your own. What I will say is in this house, yes, we will have movie nights, they’ll watch a show or two with their cousins, and on our 10-hour road trips to Vancouver in the Summer, the iPad will be played. However, our day to day lives do not include the screen, and our days are much more fun now then they used to be.
I highly suggest even just trying it out for two weeks with your kiddos, just to see the change in them. Sometimes that crutch you think you need, you actually don’t, or they could be creative with something rather than be glued to a TV because you need that 30 minutes of silence - because I bet if that TV was off, they’d be quietly playing with blocks or toys rather than watch Paw Patrol for the 10000th time. Try it out and leave a comment below about your experience and what you found changed - I am so curious to hear about other experiences!
If you have questions about specifics on how we did things or any questions in general, leave a comment below and I am happy to answer them for you! Making this small change in our home has changed our daily life and I am so happy we tried it long enough to see the drastic changes. We’re about a month and a half in and we won't be changing that anytime soon!