My kiddo (age 16 months… ahem, I mean 1 year 4 months) doesn’t really watch TV. We hardly ever have it on while he is awake. If the TV is actually on while he is up, there is a good chance (like 99.99%) that we are watching a sporting event with the sound muted. My child is ridiculously busy and mostly uninterested in sitting down to watch the television that we affectionately refer to as the “Glow Box,” so we don’t put on children’s shows for him to watch. Lately, he has been increasingly more interested playing by himself with his toys and other household items while his dad and I are busy with grownup chores, which is pretty awesome. I don’t know if that has anything at all to do with his limited access to screen time. Probably not, but I’d like to think so.
Here are a few reasons we’ve decided against TV Time!
Making the Most of Your Time Together
- My husband and I both work outside of the home, so we try to make the most of our time together. During the week, we end up preparing and eating meals and playing together as a family before bedtime. When the TV is on, we don’t really engage with one another, so we don’t turn it on. During the weekend, it is much more difficult to keep the TV off, so we try to keep busy and get outside as much as possible. We almost always have music on in the house, so there is a lot of (terrible) dancing, (off-key) singing and instrument playing (banging) going on. This arrangement has worked pretty well so far. We will see how long we can make it before TV becomes a staple for the kid.
Put AWAY the cell phones, too!
- Even though limiting TV time has been fairly easy for us, it has not been as easy to limit other forms of screen time. Our kid is OBSESSED with trying to get his hands on our smartphones and iPad. Luckily, he doesn’t yet know what these devices are capable of. He isn’t aware of the wonderful world of apps and YouTube that await him. For now, he just knows that he can make the iPad and smartphones light up with the push of a button and that sometimes he can see his grandmothers talking at him through the screen. I realize that my child’s obsession with my smartphone is a reflection of my own obsession, and that motivates me to put the thing away when we are together. I literally have to put it away (i.e., in another room) to stay off of it. It is sad, really. I have very little willpower.
The driving force behind my decision to limit screen time
- My desire to increase the quality of the time we have as a family: When I was practicing law, I didn’t make time for my family. Work happened constantly. I was connected all the time, and my health and well-being suffered. My relationships with my husband, family, and friends suffered. I have learned from the mistakes I made, and I want to make the most of the time we all have together. There is plenty of time for my son to form attachments to TV and smartphones and to ignore me later in life. In the meantime, we are going to live life with as few electronic distractions as possible.
We have blogged before about TV and children and the pros of allowing your child to watch television, what do you think? Do you choose to allow your tots access to screen time?