Screen Time and Summer Time

Ah, the much debated screen time.  This has been discussed in a variety of forms for years.  Psychologically speaking, the consensus is that it is terrible, especially the younger your children are.  All kinds of studies are out there pointing out all the terrible things screens do to our little ones’ developing brains.  And yet, we are all guilty of letting them stare at it all day.  Or for days at a time even.  Many times this is with the rationale that it’s just easier.  I was one that thought that way. And yet, I most always end days like these with frustration (and sometimes when I’d admit it, more frustration than on the days that I didn’t allow the screens).   So it had to end…and that it did two weeks ago.  After returning home from starting our summer break out with a visit back to Michigan, the first few days back required a day to recuperate from travel, unpacking, and catching up on work.  So the boys got to stare at screens while I went about doing this.  Thinking they’d be good, happy to get what they always want, I set out to accomplish getting my life back to routine in peace.  This didn’t last long.  Along with the fighting over who got to watch/play what came the attitudes… Oh the attitudes.  It’s like the screens warp my nice little boys into snotty little brats!  My partner and I have been preaching to them for a while now about how bad TV/phones/electronics are for them.  Well, they proved us right, and screen time came to an end.

What has happened since has been glorious.  They have been more creative and play together nicely or find something to do on their own.  They are reading, and using their imagination, and…drumroll… doing chores without being asked!  There is less arguing.  There is less fighting.  There is less attitude.  Now it hasn’t been taken away entirely.  A couple nights ago they got to watch a movie, and last night they played some Super Nintendo.  And they do so in a much better way.  They nicely agree on what to watch/play.  They turn it off without argument.

Not to say it was easy… The first couple days were a bit tortuous, constantly being asked if they can watch TV or YouTube, hearing “I’m bored,” etc.  But once we were over that hump, it has gotten better and better!

So do yourself, and your kiddos a favor.  Help their little brains work without an electronic something in their faces giving them immediate and constant entertainment.  You will be happy you did in the short term (well after a couple days) and when you have well developed, critically thinking adult children.

For more reading on these topics, check out some of these articles:

https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/moral-landscapes/201404/does-too-much-screen-time-make-kids-sick

https://www.forbes.com/sites/alicegwalton/2018/04/16/how-too-much-screen-time-affects-kids-bodies-and-brains/#873c10515490

https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/behind-online-behavior/201604/what-screen-time-can-really-do-kids-brains

https://breakingmuscle.com/fitness/wired-kids-how-screen-time-affects-childrens-brains

4 replies
  1. Tasha MF Sheets
    Tasha MF Sheets says:

    Completely agree. The screens, tablets, video games….it is like a drug to kids. I wish at times that I had never introduced my kids to them. When I was a kid we had to play outside and use our imaginations… More kids these days need to do the same!

    Reply

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