Yesterday, my son said something that got us all laughing…
“MOMMY, please put SMALL cartoon for me, then set your timer for 7mins, please”
In my last post, I talked about decoding the meaning behind behavior, not just the behavior itself.
What this told me (aside the fact that he deserved the PJMasks I then allowed him watch) was also that he UNDERSTOOD that cartoon is not something we watch all the time in this house.
In this post, I mentioned how I broke the gadget and screen time addiction for my kids after we got back from Dubai.
Before then, my kids were constantly on YouTube watching cartoon. That was the ONLY way I could distract or engage them. I then had to do something drastic which was ABSOLUTELY NO CARTOON.
No cartoon on TV or phone
No Jesus cartoon except in church
No educational cartoon except in school
I needed them to associate my home with a NO SCREEN TIME rule.
It was an addiction and I wanted to break it cold Turkey.
In about 4 to 6 months, my kids had adjusted.
They read more and played more with toys.
During the Christmas break, hubby introduced them to cartoon again. I didnt really mind cos I thought we could handle and ration it.
Sadly, we had this period of moving homes and living very lean for a while, so TV was a major way to engage them, as even I didnt have a lot of time so I let them BUT I knew I would soon put the brakes in
And when we finally moved and settled, the brakes were up. Had to also tell hubby same cos I started seeing them go to my phone a lot, and then i saw them go to guests phones too. Haaa. Showed hubby one time when they did that and was like that’s it. No more.
And the TV stayed off. And told KingDaveed he had no access to remote control again.
And I banned them from touching my phone, spanking anyone who does. We are still on this one cos ElJohn still carries my phone sometimes but my spanking is having a good effect.
Once in a while, I’ll allow him TV time and set my timer. Was a struggle to get him to comply joyfully but eventually, he did.
So that night when he said that, I knew he had lost the entitlement mentality.
TV was a timed privilege, the kind that when you get, you say THANK YOU
Plus that was a nod on my parenting abeg.
Infact, I started to make him say “I am not entitled… I always say thank you”
That’s something we need to teach our kids
Play is privilege
Work is part of our normal activities in this family
Learned that from Lisa Bevere.
We need to fight entitlement. It’s how it starts and then grows into adulthood, people thinking they deserve what normally would be privileges
And TV is a great way to start.
Screen time in general
Let them know if it is to happen, there is a start and end time to it. And any attitude when time is up means the privilege is taken away.
Will they cry?
Will it even be hard for you as a mom?
Yes yes yes
But last last, everyone will be alright
Let them play with toys, play outside with their ball and bicycle, or just run around.
Let them sing and dance.
Buy cardboard and A4 paper for them to color and draw
Print out fun stuff from the internet and let them learn and play
I also discovered another fun activity even though it involves the screen but you can add this to screen time
Find sing and dance along, or choreography videos online, download and play from your TV using a flash. You can join them and not only do they have fun, they also get some exercise in and you also get to bond with them
I love doing this with them.
Another screen time they can get is watching the animal channel. Perfect way to also educate them and make them associate screen time with education, not just fun fun fun.
So cheers moms, to raising kids who understand that screen time should be timed, and it is not a right but a privilege.
Of course, we must also be prayerful about and over our kids. Let God show you the best way to do this for your own kids
Do you have any screen time stories?
Please share let’s all be educated
See you next time. If you have something you want me to write about related to parenting and domestic queening, do let me know. And dont be vague, be specific.
It’s easier to respond when one is specific as opposed to “how can I be more organised?”