Tuesday, 13 March 2018

How Saying No To Screen Time is Giving My Children a Better Childhood

Over the Christmas season, my kids were allowed to watch more television than we generally like them to, which resulted in me declaring a screen detox post-holidays.

Since then, I have been saying no to requests for screen time more often than yes, and observing the way my children, mostly Jerome, have responded.


At first, there is usually that aimlessness, a few moments of kicking the tires of the possible activities he could do instead. And then he will usually settle in, surprising me with his ability to immerse himself.

Sometimes he chooses to do a craft.
Sometimes he sits down with work from the shelves.
Sometimes he chooses to look at a book by himself.
Sometimes he puts on a Superman costume to battle imaginary fire-breathing spiders.
Sometimes he gathers a handful of vehicles or the train tracks and is off in his own world.

Always, I am glad to see this kind of engagement, rather than his sitting blank-faced on the couch. I am so glad to know that we are giving him a childhood full of meaningful work and play, opportunities to explore interests.



Now before you think it is always sunshine-and-daisies, no, it does not always result in magical concentration and imagination. There are times when it results in fighting between the boys, rough and disruptive play, or their being underfoot while I attempt to make food or deal with the baby.

This is natural consequence of not offering them the pacifying option. One that I am prepared to accept, hard as it may be at times.


If You're Thinking This Will Never Work for You

If your kids are used to a lot of screen time, they will most definitely object at first.

I know Jerome did.

Before implementing my less-is-more screen time rule, my no was met with whining and persistent pleas. Jerome would ask me every few minutes if he could watch a show yet, and trust me, it starts to wear on a person. But I persisted.

It gets more natural, it really does. 

Just stick to your guns, provide them with an environment rich in healthy choices, and allow their natural childhood instincts to kick in.



Choosing the Better Babysitter in the Long Run

So while we are not screen free, although I most definitely see the value in choosing to go this route, especially with such young children, I am a huge proponent for limiting screen time and being very particular about what our children view.


I honestly feel that, in the long run, it makes my job as a mother so much easier to allow my children to develop the tools necessary to entertain themselves. Giving them the gift of boredom, which I will talk more about next week.

How much better for them to be babysat by good imagination than a screen?

Thank you for reading! If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to contact me. I would also love to hear any suggestions for posts you would like me to write about. And if you are interested in following along in our daily adventures, follow us on Instagram where I post daily.



God bless,
Olivia Fischer















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