Sounds like a work out routine…a marketing idea… an effective and simple way to reach a goal.
Let’s hope so…
We all know the statistics and the research, as parents we have seen it a thousand times. And with the huge increase in Ipad’s, tablets, flat screens, blue-ray, smart phones…. our kids have technology at their finger tips and we have a sure-fire way to get some work done…and some piece and quiet.
If your kids are like mine, and they argue and fight on the regular, “watching shows” and “playing games on the Ipad/Daddy’s phone” are life-savers… and just.plain.AWESOME.
This is the big part for me…. THEY LOVE WATCHING SHOWS AND PLAYING GAMES ON THE IPAD…. And I loved watching TV as a kid… and being able to navigate technology and learning from strategic thinking games is a plus in my book. And kid shows these days are EDUCATIONAL! They learn so many things from shows they love to watch. As a parent, this fills my soul with pure joy.
“They didn’t have shows like this when I was a kid!” There are times I make my kids watch The Backyardigans… Can I get an adorable and positive music number anyone?…
So I am on board for my kids embracing all the different stories and characters and adventures all these shows and movies have to offer…
But I have read the research over and over, that kids over the age of 2 should only watch 1-2 hours of tv/day, if that….
Writers and researchers present over and over again that “screen time” affects our childrens’ brains… in a negative way. Even the educational shows… because kids need to be active, hands on and have social interaction.
The Brain –side note on the brain here… we know that our brains are much more malleable than previously thought, even as adults. We have the ability, through repetitive thought and meditation, to change the neuropathways of our brains…. we can literally make our brains better able to handle stress, be positive…and be happy…and healthier!
So, I am not saying that this is important to me just because research says it affects kids’ brains in a bad way. It’s important to look at every influence of our kids and how our words, actions and energy are imprinting in their minds….AND, I know that our kids have the ability to better their minds and reverse negative patterns over time.
A big Influencer for Me: Research says over use of screen time can lead to aggressive behavior…I don’t know about your house but if my kids have been watching shows, even with a warning, they get so cranky when we turn it off.
And remember that article that went around social media…the one where it said Steve Jobs didn’t let his kids use Ipads and tablets and limited their screen time, if they had any?
In the words of my 4-year-old, Theo, “What the heck?”
Every time I read articles that tell me I need to limit the amount of time my kids watch shows, I have to wonder, “Why does it have to be about the screen time? Why can’t it be about all the other moments you have with your kids and what
those minutes look like?
The Real Story
So, add everything I just wrote about above…
And throw in some emotional healing therapy …
Sprinkled with some being present with my feelings…
I found myself in an emotionally charged situation…. we were rushing out the door, barely making it to a family improv activity downtown…in the snow… which we didn’t make it to anyhow because it was downtown…we were late…and the weather was bad but I thought it’d be a good idea and the kids wanted to go….
So I have been making an effort to be present with my feelings and instead of reacting and yelling and trying to control my external, I go inward and do that work…
In these moments, I had plenty of reason to go external…
…and plenty of reasons to go internal…
I turned from the oftentimes habitual act of yelling at my kids to just.plain.sobbing…
It all hit me at once and I admitted how overwhelmed…frustrated…unappreciated and sad I felt.
Then I said/cried this: I just don’t want my kids to watch tv because it’s bad for them.
So….I am a believer that when we get real with ourselves, and be present with ourselves…and allow ourselves to speak what is inside…we can tend to say some pretty weird stuff…..
But we must give attention to these insights.
So after I sat in my pain…I was willing to release it and move through it…
And it’s not that the crying is because of the television…screen time means more than just the shows…it’s about our relationship with one another and our attachment to things. It’s about my ability and opportunity to be present for my kids and have sustained energy that allows me to be joyous, fun, creative, loving, willing, open, and act from a place of abundance.
As the day continued, as we all grew a little closer to ourselves….and to one another.
A few days ago, it just hit me all of a sudden…after reading an article by a writer of minimalism practices…I realized that I might actually be more available through time and energy by minimalizing screen time in a positive way.
How it works
How it’s working so far
Discipline and Screen Time