We don’t believe in letting the kids watch a lot of TV, but after a series of back-to-back illnesses Disney Jr slowly became a fixture in our house. It bought us a bit of quiet time so we could recover, but it definitely came with a cost.
Detoxing was tough. Breaking habits is always hard and requires a lot of strength to continually redirect activities.
Now that the TV is gone from our lives, our night time routine is better. By 8pm we have uninterrupted grown-up time, something we haven’t enjoyed for months! The kids are all calmer and listen better throughout the day, and are once again more interested in playing than sitting in front of a screen.
Why To Cut Back TV
Are you thinking about cutting back on TV time in your household? There are a lot of great reasons why you should!
Kids who watch violent television programs are more likely to exhibit aggressive behaviour themselves, and are tend to feel more insecure or less safe overall
Television programs can re-enforce negative gender and racial stereotypes
Children who spend a lot of time watching television struggle more with understanding the difference between fantasy and reality
Watching television leads to inactivity, weight gain and sleep issues
How to Cut Back
Cutting down on something the kids enjoyed while giving us a bit of a break was tough but worth it. Our kids know how to push our buttons so like anything else this requires willpower to overcome the whining and bargaining. It’s worth it!
Are you looking to cut back on the screen time in your home? Here are some of the tricks we used.
Adults cut back too - We model behaviour for our children so if we want them to stay away from the television we need to lead by example and find other activities ourselves.
Fill the time - We enjoyed spending time with and reading to the kids, playing card games and doing extra homework. When they were occupied the television never even crossed their minds.
Resist temptation - When our kids cry for things we have a natural desire to give in. Don’t! This is the hardest part, and the most important to get through because it means you are close to breaking the old habit. In other words, when things are at their toughest you are almost through to the other side!
Enjoy quality time - The average family watches upwards of 4 hours of TV every day. Every day! Imagine how much quality time you can spend together if those 28 hours per week were suddenly available instead of wasted staring blankly at a screen.
We’re spending more time making our own entertainment and love every minute of it. Everyone is more full of life, and the creative storytelling and laughter is back in our house.
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