Have you parents ever realized that a situation has gotten out of hand with your kids and desperately needs to be reigned in? That’s what has happened with us over the last few months with screen time – TV, iPod, iPad, computer time, iPhone games… You name it, we’ve been doing it. I could blame it on the weather. Terrible NE Ohio temperatures this year and all that. But as I’ve reflected on it, I’ve realized it’s two things.
1. First, Lazy Mommy Syndrome. After I’ve spent all morning and early afternoon teaching, I need to get things done! So games/shows seem like an easy option. It certainly seems quicker for me than helping them to decide what cool fun thing they can do that’s creative.
2. The second part that I’m realizing played into this dilemma was that I had not previously set rules. We have guidelines in other media areas:
– No TV on school mornings
– No DVDs in the car unless we are driving over 45min
Those are so easy to enforce. The kids know the rules. They don’t even ask. But screen time in general has been a free for all. Every time they would ask, I would have to decide. So it’s easy to slide into a yes without even thinking about it, and then not realizing how long they had been playing.