Last week I posted a challenge to be more accountable as parents with our children’s electronic media consumption. I know I have a tendency to turn on the cartoons or hand over the iPad whenever the kids are driving me crazy. This robs them all of sorts of playtime to learn self regulation, self soothing, and have creative experimentation. Read more about electronic media and its effect on kids here.
- 1 hr or less of cartoons on week days. No weekday video games except educational ones supervised by me.
- 2-3 hrs of cartoons and video games on the weekends.
- DVDs in the car are limited to before and after therapy, church, doctors appointments, and long road trips (approx 3 times a week)
- If anyone is sick all limits are temporarily lifted
- When I work (two afternoons a week) or we have a date night, the babysitter can have unlimited use of the iPad. Usually this will only be a little over his daily allotment of 1 hr.
So how did our week pan out?
We started off strong but towards the end of the week Hubby was out of town Thursday – Sunday so I was on my own with the kids. I found myself needing to get things done (like blogging) in the evenings when he would usually have helped with the kids. So I don’t feel too bad about going over the end of the week. Also, even though we missed the goal some days I know this week was A LOT less than the week before and I feel good about that.
Weekly Total: 14.3 hrs at home (plus 2.5 in car)
Monday: 60 minutes at home
Tuesday: 65 minutes at home, 70 minutes in the car (psychiatrist)
Wednesday: 60 minutes at home
Thursday: 60 minutes at home, 40 minutes in the car (allergist)
Friday: 3 hrs 15 min 🙁
Saturday: 3 hrs at home
Sunday: 4 hrs at home, 40 minutes in car (church)
For some perspective “On average, children ages 2-5 spend 32 hours a week in front of a TV” www.med.umich.edu.
On Their Own:
Just because you reduce the electronic media usage of your child doesn’t mean you have to entertain them as a parent or come up with ideas of things for them to do! Here are a few things I noticed my kids did on their own this week with their extra time:
All three kids washed the back door window a few hundred times. They are obsessed with using the spray bottles (filled with water) and then drying. I do have to occasionally intervene when they get a little spray happy and remind them they have to dry after every spray so the floor doesn’t get too wet.
Impromptu Instrument Creation
The first day I cut back Mr Rockstar’s afternoon iPad time he created this guitar like instrument all by himself. He was so proud.
Couch Cushion Fort
Miss Tomboy and Mr Rockstar built a couch cushion fort. Did you ever do this as a child? I know I did!
Mr Rockstar tried to create a damn in our water feature in the back yard using cups from the kitchen. What a great way to learn concepts about water flow!
I am hoping to get on a better schedule blogging so even if Hubby isn’t around I won’t have to resort to electronic babysitting.
This past week was a GREAT week behaviorally for Mr Rockstar. I even had some ladies come up to me in church and say they thought it was the best they have ever seen him. If this keeps up I think we should have no problem getting the electronic media hours down even more. If he gets worse though it will be hard. We will see. Praying for a good week!
How About You?
I would love to hear how your week went? Did you find it easy per hard to cut back electronic media for your kids?