Last month, after reading a series of articles about kids and screen time, I began an experiment to do away with screen-time limits. So we’ve been screen-time limitless for three weeks now and it’s definitely time for an update.
Basically, this experiment is working. Crazy.
The first week was over-saturated with ridiculous, mind-numbing and parental-ly insulting television. I am soooo over Selena, Demi, Tori, Debbie and Bridget. (And if you know who I’m referring to, there’s a good chance you’re over them, too.)
But the thing is, the kids are, too.
Gradually, as Week 1 ended and we headed into Week 2, there was more and more outside play, arts and crafts and (gasp) voluntary reading, thanks to some fruitful trips to the library. Aside from organizing play dates, dragging them along on errands and some activities (library, park, dog-walking), I pretty much let them do what they wanted. During the second week, the kids all had a daycamp, but even when they got home, nobody turned on the television. They’d renewed interest in arts and crafts after their art camp. Also, as a family, we started watching the series, Once, and somehow watching that after dinner for an hour became a family TV time. It became our show, and the girls especially were more excited about re-enacting the scenes by themselves than watching other shows during the day.
There was a weak moment when after gloating to B about how well the experiment was going, Naomi came down begging for an iPad or something electronic, ANYTHING, because she was sooooo bored she was going to “just expire” at any moment. But when I handed her my phone and prepared to eat crow, the girl opened up the multiplication app in her own games folder. Checkmate.
That said, there have been stolen periods of Subway Surfer, but really for the most part, the parental controls I’ve decided to implement on the TV have totally been unnecessary. Apparently the thrill of the hunt is pretty much over if you don’t need to hunt for it. But I’m not going to press my luck. The fact that everyone has camp this week as well will definitely work in my favor.