We’ve banned TV during the week

We’ve banned TV from Monday’s to Fridays in our house. 

To be honest, I can’t decide if it’s the best thing I’ve done or the dumbest thing I’ve done. Time will tell. 

For those of you who have been faithful followers of My So-Called Mommy Life, you will remember reading a post a few years back where I posted that I let my kids watch TV and I was OK with it! My logic was I was a child of the 80’s, I watched TV daily and turned out ok!

 NO TV my so-called mommy life

But, times have changed and the current state of our world is that we are bombarded with technology at our fingertips ALL THE TIME. And my kids were no different. I thought we were good at moderating the amount of TV the kids watched until I got sick. That was the turning point for us. When I  was sick my kids watched way more TV then I would have liked.  I would remind myself when I would watch them be zombies eating meals staring at the screens that we were in a crisis and this wouldn’t last forever.  After my treatments were done and I was feeling better we tried to minimize the amount of TV my kids were watching. Last year we implemented no TV in the mornings because it tended to slow everyone down and we didn’t have time for slow-pokes! But when my kids came home from school and/or daycare, TV and iPads were a free-for-all.

Over the last year, my husband and I have talked about how we notice our kids attitude after they watch TV or iPads. Sometimes they were defiant, whiny, a little crazy, often rude and aggressive. We had already banned Princess Peach and Little Dude watching on YouTube without an adult because they were finding some really inappropriate things that looked kid friendly. Did you know people make x-rated Dora The Explorer videos?! Even with all of our previous conversations about banning TV during the week, neither of us pulled the trigger. Until this summer. 

One night, I was hanging out with friends while the kids had night camp. One mom talked about how her kids don’t watch TV during the week and I thought it was the push I needed. Another friend had just implemented it with her kids and noticed a HUGE difference. 

So, after returning home from the cottage which was the week before going back to school, we implemented a “No TV rule from Monday-Friday”. The first week was hard. Really Hard! My kids who have great imaginations and play really nicely together  needed me to help them figure out how to fill their free time in the morning and afternoon. The first week was stressful and I found myself questioning why I was doing this many, many times. My mom even told me that I’m torturing myself and no one else by banning TV.

NO TV my so-called mommy life

By the second week and the first week back at school, the kids were doing so well. They were keeping busy by playing games, doing puzzles, reading  books, having dance parties, making up games with their imagination, and playing with their toys that have been sitting on the shelf waiting to be played with. And with the weather being unseasonably beautiful, my kids have spent lots of time outside. But, I’ve noticed that I’ve been putting my phone down more and I’m present with them. I’ve been busy playing games with both kids, doing puzzles, reading books to them and listening to Princess Peach read to me and have been having epic dance parties! I feel like we’ve become much more connected because we don’t have TV to distract us. 

It’s been so nice taking back our mealtime too. We are all engaged and interested in what each of us has done during the day. We play games at dinner like two truths and a lie or sharing 5 things that happened during our day. Again, we are all more present with one another. 

NO TV my so-called mommy life

Please don’t think that banning TV has been all sunshine and butterflies. There have been many days when I was tempted to turn on the TV because the kids were were overtired and whining. It would have been so easy just to turn the TV but I stayed strong and didn’t cave. Instead, on those days dinner might be later because my kids needed my help or a cuddle and that’s ok! 

We are now 7 weeks into this new rule. It hasn’t been easy but I think that we are happier, and more connected because of it. I don’t know what the future will hold, but I do hope we continue this way!

What is your family’s rule about watching TV? Do you ban it during the week? Or put a time limit on your kids watching? 


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