This is something I have been grappling with for a while now. I have known that it was a move I wanted to make but, for some reason, I just took a while to make it. I finally took action 10 days ago and hope to never look back. My kids are no longer allowed to watch TV on weekday mornings.
No shows on weekday mornings. No devices of any kind on weekday mornings. Plain and simple.
I worried about this choice, not because my kids would likely complain, but because letting them watch TV in the mornings is SO EASY. They sit there like sweet little zombies and the house stays neat and tidy because it is not being played in! The kids sing and dance and squeal with delight when they find out which of their favourite shows is coming up next. Yay!
So, what’s my issue with TV before school?
Where. Do. I . Begin…
For starters, I am sensitive to noise. I didn’t know that was a ‘thing’ until I had kids and then that ‘thing’ got so real for me. I LOVE listening to music, I LOVE listening to my kids having fun and playing but I do NOT love the constant NOISE that is on all the kids’ favourite TV shows. Constant and repetitive noise. Ugh.
Then there’s trying to communicate with the sweet little TV zombies. It was getting increasingly harder for me to get the kids dressed. It felt as though the adults didn’t exist when we were in competition with Dora, Chase, and Mickey Mouse. Frustration would rise and it’s not how I like to start the day!
I am also acutely aware of my kids’ behavioural patterns and, though I have not conducted official and controlled research on my children and the effects TV has on them (and have no intention of actually doing so haha)… they are just different after a full morning of TV watching. Does anyone else notice this? Sometimes I hear more whining. Sometimes even some back-talk and none of that is ok by me!
I remember reading an article a while ago (year ago) about how challenging it can be for teachers to be ‘stimulating’ enough in the minds of children who have just been stimulated to the max by their favourite cartoon characters or by their favourite video game. Again, I am not an expert in this, but that really resonated with me and made so much sense to me.
It all comes down to setting the right ‘tone’ for the day for my kids, and I was starting to really feel like TV was getting us all off on the wrong foot.
Do we have toys strewn all over the house by the time we leave for school in the morning? You better believe it. But, I also believe that my kids are calmer, more cooperative, and more prepared for a day of learning when the TV stays off in the morning, and those things are important to me!
Don’t get me wrong, there are many times the TV still goes on and the kids happily zone out, but I’m just trying to keep it to after school and on weekends now. And, as you all know how it goes as a parent, I’ll sign off with… Ask me next month how I feel about all this :P.
Do you have set TV/screen times in your home? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments section!