I have been waging an unsuccessful war with our TV for a few years now.
The war was always lost on the fields of: Whining, Boredom, Begging, Tantrums, “Mommy needs to clean the house now”, and “Mommy needs to make lunch and have you out of the too-small kitchen now”.
I would declare to my husband that we needed to cut back on screen time, and I’d make a really good effort…..until the battle ensued on one of the aforementioned fields….and there it was lost, once again.
I’ve learned that you will win this war the same way you win any war:
With a strategy!
My first strategy was to have a play plan
I started by dragging out toys my children hadn’t seen in a while. I pulled them out the night before and had them waiting in the living room. I didn’t say anything about the TV being off, I just gave them their morning hot cocoa and and they naturally gravitated to the new-to-them toys and started playing.
The TV was forgotten.
But in order for this to be sustained, you need to plan for what you will do when they are done playing with the toys you’ve set out.
Will you redirect them to snack-time?
Will you take them outside?
Will you redirect them to a new set of toys?
As the days continues and the whining starts, what will be your strategy?
Rewards for no begging or crying?
Time out when they whine and complain?
Discuss with your husband if you’d like to do controlled screen time at certain times or as a reward for no whining or begging. No matter what your approach, you will only win the war with a good, firm strategy you know you can stick to.
Over the next 30 days we’ll look at more ideas that will help to redirect our children’s interests so that we can effectively detox from the screens that atrophy their creativity and steal their desire to play as children were meant to play!
Each Friday in the month of October I’ll be on Periscope sharing about some of the things we’ve been doing, and I’ll be taking ideas from my readers, too!! I hope you’ll chime in.
This post is day 1 of the series: 31 Days of Screen Free Activities for Kids. To see all of the posts in this series visit this page.
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