Friday, March 8, 2013

Screen Time

I've always been really conscious of the amount of time Isabella spends watching television.  I'm not against TV by any means and I've been pretty open with the fact that we are definitely a TV family.  But while we were staying with my parents I realized just how much TV was a part of our lives.

My mom would leave cartoons on all day long whether she watched them or not.  The news was on.  Sit coms were on.  It got to the point where it almost hurt my brain to hear the television.  It got to the point where it was almost a relief to have the TV off.

So now that we're in our new home I really wanted to break bad habits and get away from too much TV.  It's annoying.  It's distracting.  And I hate the glazed over look Isabella gets when she watches it.  Now don't get me wrong I'm not against TV by any means, especially since I love a good episode of Criminal Minds or The Real Housewives of Anywhere, but in limited quantities.  A show in the morning while I make breakfast.  A movie on a rainy afternoon.  A quick episode of Dora when I'm at the end of my rope.

We hardly ever have the TV on for her though anymore.  There's so much space here that she'd much rather play with her toys in the basement or listen to Pandora and have a dance party or do a craft together.  Sometimes I get annoyed to play princess gets chased by a tiger for the 50th time, so I just tell her that she needs some Isabella time and she can play by herself.  We're making some headway in the area of independent play...finally.

She likes to read books, play on her Mobi Go (gray area for screen time for me since it's interactive and educational), dance, play dress up, create wildly insane scenarios to act out, color.  It's been great.  I can't wait until the weather is warmer and we can go into the back yard to play.

I'm sure once Mrs. Petrillo comes we'll be needing to use the TV a bit more until we find a routine and I'm ok with that.  But in the interim it's nice to hear music in the background rather than annoying ass DJ Lance.

How does your family balance screen time?


Midnight Cowgirl said...

I have to admit that I am guilty of leaving the TV on for the background noise...

Tamara Camera said...

I like to keep things calm and quiet and have the TV off all day, especially with the baby around. And it all goes out the window when my husband comes home and practically blasts the news!

beckyj @ A Lazy Crazy Life said...

I'm a self-professed tv junkie, so I can hardly criticize or be surprised when my own boys seem to get sucked in to the TV--even if it's a boring cooking show I'm watching or a Doc McStuffins their little sister is watching. It's actually a little funny how they'll walk into our bedroom on a Saturday morning to talk to us, and immediately they turn and glaze over if the tv is on.

So, what we've done is allow them to redeem technology tickets throughout the week. Each ticket is worth 30 minutes of brain-rotting technology--Wii, TV, DS, computer game, etc. The exception is education computer games. We limit the time in one sitting but don't make them redeem a ticket.

It gives them control over their technology (they can use up all their tickets during the week and suffer a weekend w/o technology) or ration it. There are still restrictions like if they misbehaved they lose a ticket.

But it's been very helpful to set limits. And it's also been helpful for me and my husband to pay attention to how much WE have the TV on when they're around.

My boys are older though--6 and 8, so I don't know how useful it would be when they're younger.

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