I am a proponent of limiting screen time because my kids are far too attached to the TV if it is on, and I want to do more productive things than play movie after movie each day. Little Miss was allowed to watch one movie in the morning, and then another after her nap. I gave in a couple times a month if she was sick, or if the weather was mucky for the 80th day in a row, but the rule was pretty set.
Still, movies were a catalyst to tantrums throughout the day. Last week, Little Miss was a wreck (and yesterday I found out she is cutting a molar, so I suppose that could be part of the reason) and constantly whining to watch another “foofie”. After one movie was done, she wanted to watch another. She wasn’t playing with her toys, wanting to read books, anything. Finally, I put all the movies in my closet and said we are going to live for a little while without TV.
Now a week later, I can say I’m glad I took away the movies. The first day Little Miss started playing with her toys again (though she’s back to being pretty bored of her toys again) and now she asks to go outside all the time. Alhamdulilah, it’s been beautiful out and very enjoyable to just hang out at the park or watching her play in the back yard while I chill on our deck.
It seems like the day is longer when we don’t have the distraction of a TV on in the house and we can fit more in to our day. It was hard to peel Little Miss away from the TV to go run errands, go to the park, or do anything for that matter. Turning off the TV, or even saying no to the second movie in the morning, brought on screaming temper tantrums and who feels productive and motivated with a screaming toddler in the house?
Going forward, I’ve decided the movies are not going to be in our daily routine (I may consider one 30 minute or less video, but that will be after Little Miss really gets that there’s only one). Instead, a movie will be a reward or a treat. I’ve told Little Miss she will get to watch a movie after she uses the potty three times. Given she has been very resistent to using the toilet lately, I’m hoping this will prove very beneficial for me on two fronts: less movies, and getting closer to potty training!