The Time We Banned Television
My kids get up early, 6:30 AM is pretty normal for both big kids to be up and at ’em. When the youngest was still a baby I’d just wave my hand and give the okay for them to go and watch a show. It was my way to keep them quiet so that the baby could keep sleeping.
Soon the early morning rising and watching of shows started to happen every single day. It became this expectation that they could just wake up and have screen time.
My kids started to roll out of bed even earlier and flick on a show and curl up in blankets on the couch while I was still snoozing with the Elisabeth. It was totally a bad habit that we got into and over the summer I let it go on because it felt ‘easier’.
When it was time for back to school we gave our morning routine a serious look and realized that something needed to change. Too often the big kids were so enthralled with a television show that they had on their T.V. blinders and could not see or hear me.
It would take forever for me to get them up and going and I’ve never been a morning person as is. It felt like a constant battle to get them moving on from the breakfast table to getting dressed. Eyes were always half glued to a screen and that is when we realized, something that to change.
We went cold turkey and completely banned screens on school mornings. Surprisingly, it was actually not a hard transition for them to make. It’s been over a month with no screens in the morning and things have seriously improved.
My kids still wake up at 6:30 AM but now they hop onto the couch and read books and, this is the big one, they play together without fighting. I literally find piles of books on the couch each morning and I love this. Getting them moving in the morning is now a lot easier and there is so much less hollering from me to get a move on.
Besides reading books they also listen to music and have random dance parties in the living room. We’ve been on a real Dolly Parton kick lately (Jolene! Jolene! Joleeeeene!) and there is laughter and movement. The kids play silly games with each other and the vibe is so much more calmer.
Their listening also got a lot better and they seem able to really focus on their morning tasks. Turning off the television and stopping our morning binge has been a really positive change in our family. It has even trickled into the rest of the day with much less screen time overall and I randomly find them getting lost in books. Now that is a habit I fully support!