Screen time, the necessary evil. Particularly at this very point in time with the need to balance work, running a household and keeping young children active and working loosely towards some form of a grounding for the start of their lifelong educational journey.
I thought I’d share with you, the details of my constant battle with this necessary evil. Perhaps so to serve a purpose to keep us mothers on the same page, goodness knows we have enough Mum guilt to deal with than to be further adding to the guilt felt by others, like the ‘issue’ of screen time tends to do.
As I sit here and write this, my two boys (aged 5 and 2) are splashing around in their paddling pool and a nearby set up of assorted containers and buckets for water play, for the third day running. My eldest, in particular, would usually make hourly requests for something on TV. A request which we have heard little of in the past three days. It got me thinking, have I changed my parenting enough in the last few days and become some kind of Super-Mum, with perfectly behaved angels who are happily creating their own incredibly imaginative play? Unlikely! Or could there be another factor at play? I’m thinking that at some point in time, the calls for TV, iPad and the likes begin to decrease. Can we strive to find adequate distractions from that request for a certain time, in my case the 2-3 days, after which time magic happens. The little learners begin to replace that craving with another source of interest … imaginative play, exploration and discovery! In a way I guess you’d call it breaking the chain.
With our cut back of screen time in the past three days, not only have we witnessed some incredible discoveries taking place, but we’ve been able to get along much better as a family. With less resistance to bedtime, clean up time and less battles between the two of them. Wow what a difference it makes to the experiences we can have as a family.
Now, I’ve no doubt that the whole process could be equally true in reverse, where relaxing our screen time reduction ideal now, could send us backwards. Taking with it, their ability to construct their own play and learning opportunities. Not really a track I want to head back down, to be honest.
And just whilst I’ve been penning down these thoughts, my little paddlers have turned their paddling pool into a rock pool with almost every rock from out of the garden! I wonder what TV show they got that idea from!?
Keen to hear your experiences on breaking the screen time chain.