**By no means is this post boasting, supposed to make you feel guilt, or start a "Mom War."**
That being said...all negative comments an move along kindly.
Media. Ipads, TV, Laptops, Cell Phones, Leapsters, ect. We are surrounded by it. Our kids are surrounded by it. Personally, I love it. I mean, Aaron works in media. Our lives and lively hood revolve around media.
Media can be good. It keeps us in touch with friends and family. Aids learning. It's fun and relaxing for some. Ebooks, E-Bibles, online school, Facebook, Kids websites and game. Educational...well not Facebook really, But have you seen those Tasty videos?! Its like cooking school!
Media can be bad. It opens doors to addictions that before media were much harder to get to. Online gambling, Pornography, ideology, judgement, and cyber bullying. Not that these things didn't happen before...but it was harder.
Media can be crazy. There is no start and finish, Netflix binge anyone *raises hand*. Its a brain suck. You literally withdrawal from media, "Screens", just as you would caffeine. It makes it hard to sleep, it makes it hard to focus, it makes my kids crazy.
That last note, "It makes our kids crazy". Guys, I'm not joking. They turn into crazy people when they have to much media. Like, screaming aliens.
Aaron and I saw this. We saw how the kids behavior changed literally drastically when they had all the media. When I say all the media I mean, about an hour of shows in the morning when they woke up, about an hour at 4pm when I was cooking dinner, and then one short show after baths before bed. So 2.5 hours of media time per day. Then, I would say to myself, "They are not even getting that much media time! They won't be affected by it!" But they were.
Aaron and I made a crazy decision. A decision that isn't right for everyone, frankly I don't think its right for us sometimes! We decided to cut out ALL media. Everything, TV, educational websites, leap pens, cell phones in waiting rooms, all of it.
Our kids don't have any media at all Sunday through Friday evening. Friday evening we do family movie night and on Saturday we let them watch a show or two when they wake up. Thats it. They are getting the amount of screen time in a whole week that they used to get per day.
Its been crazy. They withdrew. I withdrew. How the heck was I going to get ANYTHING done without a brain suck for them? It took about a week of constant "I WANT SCREEN TIME!" "Please Mama just one Daniel Tiger" YOU KNOW HOW HARD IT IS TO SAY NO TO DANIEL. It.was.rough.
Some beautiful things started to happen. They used there imaginations, they played togather and didn't need me, because their brains were thinking clearly. They do art work and listen to muisc and a few books on tape. They are making up games and doing puzzles. Not because the screens were taken away, not to earn the media time, but because they have learned that there is way more than just media for "fun". We are cooking, reading and cleaning together, and enjoying it.
They are dirty and tired at the end of the day. My house is so messy at the end of the day. I am exhausted at the end of the day. But they are happy. They are happy children, not entertained zombies.
Like I said, this isn't for everyone. Maybe your the lucky one who's children don't turn into tiny crazy people with media. Most days I am thankful we did this. Lots of mornings I wish I could just drink my coffee to the sound of PBS Kids rather than the active playing off the bat.
The benefits outweigh the odds for us every day of the week. Even when I think about throwing in the towel we make it through and we are never sorry that we did this.