Friday, July 12, 2013

Screen Time Test Runs

My husband's go-to parenting tool is shows. He loves movies and games, so it makes sense for him to offer the same to our preschooler daughter. I go through a lot of guilt or worry over all the screen time. Sunday I reached some sort of breaking point or felt extra determined or something. When she got onto the computer to watch a show, I set a timer for 1 hour (and told her as much). She didn't give me too much fuss about getting off the computer at the end of the hour.

Its surely easier to cut back now,
rather than when he is old enough to move a mouse, too!

I dug out busy bags, knowing full well that none of them keep her busy or entertained for very long and she quite often wants help with them anyway. It felt like a lot of work to keep her entertained (including getting her to entertain herself, I swear she is capable of it). Later in the day I let her have 1 more timed hour. She tends to fuss when she has to get off the computer, especially at bed time. I made sure not to let her on again that late in the day. Bedtime routine was a breeze!

It had not been so simple the night before. Monday I had 1 important errand and Spencer had 2 appointments. I relaxed about the computer, knowing Sasha would have lots of screen time while home with Daddy. But I was maybe overly lax because I also didn't have her step away from it while I was home between each of my stops. She was still at the computer come bedtime. She threw a fit! She yells and cries about having to stop watching a show. Sigh. Clear, anecdotal evidence that more screen time = more stress.

We've had 1-2 more days of evidence. I'm hopeful that if I can get through the stress of having to find new entertainment for her all the time, other stress will fade away and this will become the norm rather than the exception. I'm ashamed to admit it, but I think there have been days when she has basically spent her entire day on the computer, minus bathroom breaks and meals.

I'm sure we're not out of the woods just yet, as far as changing habits. But I'm really proud of myself for doing something about it! You can also read about how very many things it can take to fill an hour when cutting back on television as well as How to Wean Your Child (from TV), both from True Confessions of a Real Mommy. Jennifer has been such an inspiration to me in my parenting tools and choices!

How have you survived a switch away from a favorite activity?
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