I’ve often been told by my kids that they are not babies anymore and that they know the difference between what is right and what is wrong so I don’t need to control what they watch. Although this has stimulated healthy debate, my kids may not watch any programmes with violence. That unfortunately for them excludes most cartoon channels as well!
Some will say that this is really extreme! The problem is that I have a son who believes that he is the character after watching an episode on TV. It’s fine when he thinks he’s Scooby Doo but as soon as he becomes a Ninja Turtle or Ben 10, his sister pays the price!! I have also found that he doesn’t respond at all to anyone when he is glued to the TV. Much like his daddy!
My daughter is into the romantic teenage love stories, which at 8 years old, gives me anxiety attacks!
I cannot shelter my kids forever and I’m not planning on doing so, but I also believe material that they are exposed to should be age appropriate and in controlled doses! I try and limit screen time, ideally to an hour a day! Weekends are a challenge and I often give them some leniency in this department.
What do they do with their time then?
They set up shop outside in the garden, and get us to come and buy some of their old stuff from them. At first we bought with coins but this soon proved to be very expensive. We now buy with Monopoly money.
We play cricket, swing ball, touch rugby or any variation of those.
They love building a fort inside the house with blankets and cushions from my furniture. The animals are also invited in but no adults!
My little balls of energy have a trampoline outside which has provided hours of fun and not too many injuries!
They have put up regular stage productions for us, with an entrance fee of course!
They have picnics in the garden!
The swimming pool is their home in summer. They have even started putting on their own sunblock!
Colder days are for looming, crafts and for playing board games.
Before you think this is tiring……………….for the parents!!! They often play alone and we just check on them from time to time. Other activities, like baking, involve a responsible adult, being me!! Keep that chuckle in! I must say that there are regular occasions where I don’t feel like playing but my husband and I take turns to entertain them. While the other one has a quick nap!
On the odd occasion my son will ask if we can watch something as a family. We’ll rent an age appropriate movie from Box Office, make popcorn and snuggle up under a blanket and watch it together! That makes our screen time so much more special!
Enjoy screen time responsibly!
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